Curator of Ancient Chinese Art
A specialist in Chinese antiquities, J. Keith Wilson received his BA in Chinese Studies from Williams College (1978) and completed his PhD coursework at Princeton University (1988) after receiving MAs in Chinese art and archaeology from both the University of Michigan and Princeton. He was also a research fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia at the University of Tokyo (1985-86). He was appointed curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art (1988-1996) and chief curator of Asian art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (1996-2006). Since joining the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, in 2006, he has reinstalled the ancient Chinese art galleries in the Freer Gallery and launched a comprehensive digital catalogue dedicated to the museum’s early jade collections.
Also interested in Chinese and Korean Buddhist art, Wilson co-organized Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan (2011) and initiated a digital imaging and research tool dedicated to the Freer Gallery’s renowned Cosmic Buddha, the subject of the monographic exhibition entitled Body of Devotion (2016-2017) and now an online feature.
In 2019, he organized Sacred Dedication: A Korean Buddhist Masterpiece and the digital catalogue Goryeo Buddhist Paintings: A Closer Look dedicated to the sixteen examples in US museum collections.
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