BOSTON, MA.-The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has named Jane Portal the Matsutaro Shoriki Chair, Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa. She will begin her new post at the MFA in September 2008, and will oversee one of the largest and most important collections of Asian art in the world, encompassing Japanese, Chinese, and Indian painting and sculpture; Japanese prints and metalwork; Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese ceramics; the arts of the Islamic world; and a rapidly growing selection of Oceanic and African art.
Portal comes to Boston from the British Museum, where she has worked for the past 20 years, starting as Curator, Department of Oriental Antiquities, and leaving as Head of Chinese and Korean Sections, Department of Asia. She has organized many exhibitions during her tenure at the British Museum, most recently, The First Emperor, a major exhibition of works from China. She was instrumental in the creation of the first Korean Gallery at the British Museum in 2000, and chaired the British Museums China Strategy. In addition, Portal has been involved in a variety of scholarly activitiesorganizing international conferences, publishing broadly in her areas of expertise, and lecturing and teaching regularly.
Portals Chinese studies include a Master of Arts degree in Oriental Studies at Girton College, Cambridge, and a Certificate of Postgraduate Study in Chinese Archaeology from Beijing University. Her Korean studies include a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Londons School of Oriental and Asian Studies, and language study at the Korean Language Institute of Yonsei University in Seoul.