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American art and Modernism provides common language in cross-cultural dialogue
Chinese scholars at Storm King Art Center.


CHICAGO, IL.- Fifteen Chinese professors of Western art history experienced firsthand artworks they’ve previously encountered only through slides and reproductions when they visited New York City for the Advanced Workshop in Western Art and Art History: American Art and Modernism, from July 31 to August 11.

“The appetite for American art has grown considerably in China over the past decade, and we’re excited to help these art historians take their scholarship to the next level by experiencing in person works they’ve studied and lectured on,” explained Elizabeth Glassman, president & CEO of the Terra Foundation for American Art, which co-sponsored the program with the Henry Luce Foundation.

“Since the 1990s, we have supported several initiatives whose aim has been to promote dialogue and exchange between Chinese and Americans on art historical scholarship,” said Luce Foundation President Michael Gilligan. “This project afforded firsthand exposure to the wide variety of artistic practices and ideas that came out of the modernist movement in America.”

Organized and hosted by the Asian Cultural Council (ACC), the workshop delivered an immersive experience of 19th and 20th-century American art and culture, combining topical lectures by experts in the field with visits to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Modern Art, International Center of Photography, Studio Museum of Harlem, and Dia: Beacon. Guest lecturers included professors Michael Leja, of the University of Pennsylvania; David Joselit, of Yale University; and Elizabeth Hutchinson, of Barnard College, among others.

“We are honored to collaborate with the Terra and Luce foundations on advancing the work of our visiting scholars through this major initiative,” said Jennifer Goodale, executive director of the Asian Cultural Council. “ACC has a long history of promoting cultural exchange through innovative projects, and we cannot do this without our generous partners.”

Zhang Jian, of the China Academy of Art, in Hangzhou, expressed his expectation to gain “a more profound, comprehensive perspective of American modernism, which was aroused by so many fascinating lectures…and the artworks displayed in various contexts in museums and art galleries of New York City.”

Like Professor Zhang, participating scholars represent a broad range of prestigious universities and art academies throughout China, such as Tsinghua University, Peking University, Central Academy of Fine Arts, Shanghai University, and Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts—key centers of higher learning in the field of art history.

Upon returning to China, each workshop participant will make presentations to colleagues and students, incorporating the content of the New York lectures and museum visits to provide current, scholarly, and critical perspectives of American art.






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