Nancy Micklewright photoEDITOR IN CHIEF

Nancy Micklewright

Nancy Micklewright, head of public and scholarly engagement, joined the staff of the Freer|Sackler in 2010. She oversees public programs for adults and family audiences, research and scholarly publications, and visitor engagement. Recently she collaborated with Johns Hopkins University students and F|S staff to produce the exhibition In Focus: Ara Güler’s Anatolia (2013). Before her arrival at the Freer|Sackler, she was senior program officer at the Getty Foundation (2001–10), where she was responsible for design and oversight of international grant programs supporting museum- and university-based programs in art history.

Micklewright began her career as a professor of the history of Islamic art and architecture and the history of photography, teaching for twelve years at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. Her current research focuses on the history of photography in the Ottoman Empire, particularly Istanbul. She is the author of A Victorian Traveler in the Middle East: The Photography and Travel Writing of Annie Lady Brassey (2003) and the editor, with Reina Lewis, of Gender, Modernity and Liberty: Middle Eastern and Western Women’s Writings; A Critical Sourcebook (2006), as well as numerous articles. She has a BA, MA, and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in the history of Islamic art and architecture.

Qianshen Bai

Professor Qianshen Bai graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Peking University and a Ph.D. from Yale University. He taught Chinese art history at Boston University from 1997 to 2015. Currently, he is a professor and dean of the School of Art and Archaeology at Zhejiang University, as well as director of Zhejiang University Museum of Art and Archaeology. He is the author of Fu Shan’s World: The Transformation of Chinese Calligraphy in the Seventeenth Century (Harvard University Asia Center, 2003), and three monographs in Chinese. He has received fellowships from The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2004) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (2011). He is now conducting a research on Wu Dacheng, a government official, scholar, collector, and painter-calligrapher, in the late Qing dynasty. Professor Bai is also an accomplished calligrapher


Kevin Carr

Kevin Carr is the associate professor of Japanese art at the University of Michigan. He teaches all aspects of the history of Japanese art and archaeology, but his research focuses on the visual cultural of popular religious cults of medieval Japan (especially thirteenth-fifteenth centuries). His work engages issues of visual narrative, hagiography, and the construction of history and national consciousness through art. He has also worked on cultural exchanges between Japan and Europe in the seventeenth century and the nineteenth century, the epistemological foundations of medieval art, and the interpretation of material culture in the absence of textual evidence. His current project focuses on communal identities as manifest in images of temple origin stories (engi-e) in fourteenth-century Japan.

Christiane Gruber photoADVISORY BOARD MEMBER

Christiane Gruber

Christiane Gruber is the associate professor of Islamic art at the University of Michigan. Her primary areas of research are Islamic book arts and codicology, paintings of the Prophet Muhammad, and Islamic ascension texts and images, about which she has written two books and edited a volume of articles. She authored the Library of Congress’s online catalogue of Islamic calligraphies as well as edited a volume of articles titled The Islamic Manuscript Tradition. Gruber also specializes in modern Islamic visual culture and postrevolutionary Iranian visual and material culture. She has written several articles and coedited two volumes on the topic. She recently completed her third book, titled The Praiseworthy One: The Prophet Muhammad in Islamic Texts and Images.


Carol Huh

Carol Huh, associate curator of contemporary Asian art, became the Freer|Sackler’s first curator of contemporary art in 2007. Through exhibitions, acquisitions, and public programs, Huh focuses on current artistic production related to Asia. Recent projects include the museum’s Perspectives series including works by Y.Z. Kami, Anish Kapoor, Hai Bo, Hale Tenger, Rina Banerjee, Ai Weiwei, Chiharu Shiota, and Michael Joo). Huh also organized Moving Perspectives, the museum’s first series of exhibitions focusing on video art from Asia. Special exhibitions include Notes from the Desert: Photographs by Gauri Gill (2016), Symbolic Cities: The Work of Ahmed Mater(2016), Sense of Place: Landscape Photographs from Asia (2013), Nine Deaths, Two Births: Xu Bing’s Phoenix Project (2013), Shadow Sites: Recent Work by Jananne al-Ani(2012), and Fiona Tan: Rise and Fall (in-house curator, 2010).

Huh is a member of the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship Committee and the Smithsonian Networks Review Committee. She completed her undergraduate and graduate studies at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.


Simon Rettig

Simon Rettig has been the Freer|Sackler’s assistant curator of Islamic art since 2016. Between 2012 and 2016, he was the museums’ curatorial fellow for the arts of the Islamic world. He previously worked at the French Research Institute in Istanbul and the Freie Üniversität in Berlin. Rettig received his BA from the École du Louvre in Paris and his MA and doctorate from the Université de Provence Aix-Marseille I, France.

Rettig has curated the exhibitions Nasta‘liq: The Genius of Persian Calligraphy (2014) and The Prince and the Shah: Royal Portraits from Qajar Iran (2018), and he cocurated with Massumeh Farhad The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts (2016). He has published several articles on the arts of the book from the Islamic world, including the recent essay “A ‘Timurid-like Response’ to the Qur’an of Gwalior, Manuscript W563 at the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore,” in Éloïse Brac de la Perrière and Monique Burési, eds., Le coran de Gwalior: Polysémie d’un manuscrit à peintures (Paris, 2016). He also recently published with Massumeh Farhad A Collector’s Passion: Ezzat-Malek Soudavar and Persian Lacquer (2017). His current projects include the preparation of a monograph on the Freer’s celebrated Khusraw u Shirin manuscript.


Haicheng Wang

As an associate professor of art history at the University of Washington, Haicheng Wang’s curriculum includes surveys of Chinese art and various topics on the art and archaeology of the Bronze Age. His research centers on two areas of comparative study. The first is cultural contact, exchange, and transmission. One of Wang’s current projects is to investigate the artistic exchange between China and its neighbors in the first millennium BCE. His second area of study is the comparison of cultures assumed not to have been in contact to gain insight into possible trajectories of cultural development. His book Writing and the Ancient State: Early China in Comparative Perspective analyzes how writing was used by early states in China, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Central Mexico, the Maya region, and the Andean states. A follow-up to this book will be a comparative study of calligraphy in different cultural traditions.

Zeynep Simavi photoMANAGING EDITOR

Zeynep Simavi

Zeynep Simavi joined the Freer|Sackler in 2011 as a research assistant. She worked on various research projects related to Ottoman art, focusing on the artistic exchange between the Ottomans and the Safavids; contemporary art, especially that of Turkey and Iran; and the formation of Islamic art in the United States. Her research on the Mehmet Ağa-Oğlu papers in the Freer|Sackler Archives led to a publication.

Simavi began to work in the Scholarly Programs and Publications Department in 2012. In addition to her work on the journal Ars Orientalis, she coordinates the museums’ fellows program and scholarly events. In 2013, she was on the curatorial team for the exhibition In Focus: Ara Güler’s Anatolia. She is currently a PhD candidate in art history at the Istanbul Technical University, continuing her research on the historiography of Islamic art. She has two master’s degrees, in media and cultural studies (2006) and in art and museum studies (2011).