Former Harvard Art Museums Curator Robert D. Mowry joins Christie's as Senior Consultant

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Former Harvard Art Museums Curator Robert D. Mowry joins Christie's as Senior Consultant
Robert D. Mowry recently retired after more than 25 years as a senior curator at the Harvard Art Museums. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2013.

NEW YORK, NY.- Christie’s announced that Robert D. Mowry, one of the foremost scholars of Asian Art, is joining Christie’s as senior consultant to the Asian Art departments. He will work closely with the Chinese ceramics and works of art department and other Asian art departments to enhance further Christie’s already formidable reputation in this field. His responsibilities will include research, writing and using his wealth of experience to assist Christie’s to lead the market in this important category.

“We are delighted to welcome Robert D. Mowry to Christie's, where he has long been respected as one of the leading scholars in our field. It is a privilege for us to have such a renowned curator of Asian art working with us so closely,” said Jonathan Stone, Christie's Chairman and International Head of Asian Art.

Recently retired after more than 25 years as a senior curator at the Harvard Art Museums (H/AM), Mowry was also the university’s Alan J. Dworsky Curator of Chinese Art (2000-2013) and Head of the Department of Asian Art (1991-2013). He continues to serve as Senior Lecturer on Chinese and Korean Art in Harvard’s Department of the History of Art and Architecture. Under his stewardship, Harvard added numerous and very significant works to what already was one of the finest collections of Asian art in the Western world. Mowry was instrumental in acquiring several renowned collections as well as important endowments for the H/AM, over and above annual fundraising efforts for specific acquisitions and exhibitions. The National Museum of Korea has named Robert Mowry its Senior International Fellow for 2013, and he is also senior editor of its scholarly journal, The Journal of Korean Art and Archaeology.

Mowry’s passion for Asian art and culture was sparked by his two-year service in the Peace Corps in Korea more than 40 years ago (1967-1969). He taught English at Seoul National University, before returning to the University of Kansas, where he completed his graduate work with Chu-tsing Li and Laurence Sickman, taking his degrees with honors. Fluent in Mandarin, he spent two years as a curatorial assistant and translator in the Department of Painting and Calligraphy at the National Palace Museum, Taipei (1975-1977). His career is distinguished with many pioneering leadership roles and ground-breaking scholarship. He was founding Curator of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at The Asia Society, New York (1980-1986), and, before that, Assistant Curator of Oriental Art at Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum (1977-1980).

Mowry is a popular speaker, consultant and author in his many areas of expertise, which include Chinese and Korean ceramics, Chinese painting of the Song, Yuan and Ming periods, Chinese jade, Chinese scholar’s materials, and Korean paintings. Among his many articles, catalogues, textbooks and books, perhaps his best known is Hare’s Fur, Tortoiseshell, and Partridge Feathers: Chinese Brown- and Black-Glazed Ceramics, 400-1400 (Harvard University Art Museums, 1996), the catalogue for an exhibition that he curated and that opened at Harvard’s Arthur M. Sackler Museum in December 1995 and then toured nationally in 1996. He also is the curator of and principal catalogue author for Worlds Within Worlds: The Richard Rosenblum Collection of Chinese Scholars’ Rocks (1997), another exhibition he organized.

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