Fields of Study: East Asian Art and Architecture

East Asian Art History at Penn includes the study of the art and architecture of China, Japan and Korea, with broad coverage of the long history of these cultures and with deeper study of specific moments in time. Study of East Asian arts and cultures is further supported by the Penn Museum and Penn’s Center for East Asian Studies. Faculty in the History of Art and its Graduate Group, in East Asian Languages and Civilizations, and in the Center collaborate in teaching and advising students. 

Faculty in the History of Art Graduate Group include:

Julie Nelson Davis, Department of the History of Art, studies and teaches the art and architecture of East Asian spanning the period from the early modern through the contemporary. Davis is a leading scholar of the prints and paintings of Ukiyo-e, which chronicle life in Edo (modern-day Tokyo) from the mid-seventeenth through the later nineteenth centuries.  

Nancy S. Steinhardt, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, is a historian of East Asian art and architecture whose broad research interests span the first through fourteenth centuries CE. She is an internationally known scholar of Chinese architecture as well as Curator of Chinese Art at the Penn Museum.

Additional courses on East Asian art are offered by Frank L. Chance, Associate Director of the Center for East Asian Studies. For more specialist faculty and their teaching areas for East Asian studies, see the Center for East Asian Studies faculty page.

Students may also take advantage of courses offered through Penn’s consortium affiliation with Bryn Mawr, Haverford, and Swarthmore and by an exchange arrangement with Princeton and Columbia. Faculty teach object-focused classes at the Penn Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Japanese House and Garden (Shôfûsô).  Students also gain experience mounting exhibitions at the Penn Museum and Arthur Ross Gallery.  There are also opportunities for students to work with faculty on site in East Asia and Europe.