Thursday, September 30, 2021
8:30 a.m.–12 p.m. (Cambridge, MA/Washington, DC)
1:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. (London)
2:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. (Berlin)
8:30 p.m.–12:00 a.m. (Beijing)
9:30 p.m.–1:00 a.m. (Tokyo)

Register here:



This program highlights the often overlooked—but nevertheless profound—influence of women on the circulation of Asian art objects. The historical analysis of the market has long focused on contributions of male dealers and collectors, as cultural norms provided them more access to formal education, financial resources, and exclusive social circles. While women were part of these networks, their participation and contributions were often less documented and have sustained little scholarly focus. This webinar attempts to recover the histories of these women and place them within the history of Western consumption of Asian art.

Focusing on historical figures, this webinar reveals how women shaped private and public collections, thereby influencing the field of Asian art history. Bringing together historians, museum curators, archivists, and provenance specialists, “Untold Stories: Women and the Asian Art Trade” features new research that illuminates the diversity within the interconnected networks that moved Asian art around the globe in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

This program is the third installment in the series Hidden Networks: Trade in Asian Art, co-organized by the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art; Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin; and the Harvard Art Museums.

Organized by:

Joanna M. Gohmann, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC
Christine Howald, Zentralarchiv/Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Sarah Laursen, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA


Thursday, September 30, 2021
8:30 a.m.–12 p.m. (Cambridge, MA/Washington, DC)
1:30 p.m.–5:00 p.m. (London)
2:30 p.m.–6:00 p.m. (Berlin)
8:30 p.m.–12:00 a.m. (Beijing)
9:30 p.m.–1:00 a.m. (Tokyo)

8:30–9:40 a.m. (EST)

  • Welcome & Opening Remarks
    • Joanna M. Gohmann, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
    • Christine Howald, Zentralarchiv/Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
    • Sarah Laursen, Harvard Art Museums
  • Women Dealers of Asian Art
    • Elizabeth Emery, Professor, World Languages and Cultures, Montclair State University
  • Spotlights, Women Dealers of Asian Art
    • Marie-Madeleine Wannieck, Julie Robin, Ḗcole du Louvre
    • Helen Dalling Ling, Martha Bari, Assistant Professor of Art History, Hood College
    • Lindsay Hughes Cooper, MacKenzie Mallon, Specialist, Provenance, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Questions & Discussion
    • Moderated by Christine Howald, Zentralarchiv/Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

9:40–9:45 a.m. (EST)

  • Break

9:45–10:55 a.m. (EST)

  • Women Collectors of Asian Art
    • Sarah Laursen, Harvard Art Museums
  • Spotlights, Women Collectors of Asian Art
    • Alma Maximiliana Karlin, Maja Veselič, Assistant Professor, Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana
    • Mary Andrews Ladd, Jeannie Kenmotsu, Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art, Portland Art Museum
    • Julia Krentz, John E. Vollmer, Independent Scholar
    • Isabella Stewart Gardner, Diana Seave Greenwald, Assistant Curator of the Collection, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
    • Agnes Meyer, Dorota Chudzicka, Assistant Curator of Modern European Art, Detroit Institute of Arts
  • Questions & Discussion
    • Moderated by Joanna M. Gohmann, Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art

10:55–11:05 a.m. (EST)

  • Break

11:05 a.m.–12:00 p.m. (EST)

  • Women Who Shaped Collections
    • Jason Steuber, Director, Appleton Museum of Art
  • Spotlights, Women Who Shaped Collections
    • Frieda Fischer, Christine Howald, Deputy Director, Zentralarchiv, and Provenance Researcher Asia Collections, Staaliche Museen zu Berlin
    • Stella Kramrisch, Darielle Mason, Stella Kramrisch Curator of Indian and Himalayan Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art
    • Dorothy Shepherd, Robin Hanson, Associate Conservator of Textiles, The Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Questions & Discussion
    • Moderated by Sarah Laursen, Harvard Art Museums
  • Closing Remarks
    • Joanna M. Gohmann, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
    • Christine Howald, Zentralarchiv/Museum für Asiatische Kunst, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
    • Sarah Laursen, Harvard Art Museums

Brief Biographies of Featured Women (pdf)

Speaker Bios

Martha Bari is an assistant professor of art history at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, where she teaches European, American, and Asian art. She received her BA from The George Washington University and her MA and PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park. Bari’s master’s research on Helen D. Ling—dealer, collector, and connoisseur of Chinese ceramics—resulted in a traveling exhibition and catalog. Her current research and publications focus on the complex events of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 Year of Peace. She recently stepped down from her directorship of Hood’s First-Year Programs, which she founded in 2011.

Dorota Chudzicka is a specialist in nineteenth- and twentieth-century European art. She has published on early twentieth-century modernism as well as the history of collecting and the twentieth-century art market. Prior to joining the Detroit Institute of Arts, she held research and curatorial positions at the Art Institute of Chicago (2003–2008); the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art (2008–2013 and 2018); and Qatar Museums (2013–2018). While at the Freer and Sackler, she contributed to developing standardized research methodologies for Asian objects and conducted systematic provenance research of Asian artworks in the Freer and Sackler collections. Chudzicka earned her MA and PhD from the Warsaw University Department of History.

Professor of French at Montclair State University, Elizabeth Emery is the author of books, articles, and essay anthologies related to the reception of medieval art and architecture in nineteenth-century France and the United States, to the links between early photography and journalism in the creation of French writer house museums, and to the work of women collectors. Her most recent book, published with Bloomsbury Visual Arts in 2020, is Reframing Japonisme: Women and the Asian Art Market in Nineteenth-Century France, 1853–1914. As an invited scholar at the INHA, she has been active in the “Collectors and Asian Art Dealers in France from 1700-1939” Program.

Joanna M. Gohmann received her PhD in the history of art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a provenance researcher and object historian at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. Before coming to the Freer and Sackler, she was the Andrew W. Mellon Post-Doctoral Curatorial Fellow in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art at The Walters Art Museum. Gohmann is particularly interested in the history of collecting and artistic exchanges between China and the eighteenth-century French court.

Diana Seave Greenwald is an art historian and economic historian. Her work uses both statistical and qualitative analyses to explore the relationship between art and broader social and economic change during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, particularly in the United States and France. Her first book, Painting by Numbers: Data-Driven Histories of Nineteenth-Century Art, was recently published by Princeton University Press. Greenwald is currently the Assistant Curator of the Collection at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Prior to joining the Gardner, she was an Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, working in the departments of American and British Paintings and Modern Prints and Drawings.

Since 1999, Robin Hanson has served as textile conservator at The Cleveland Museum of Art, caring for an encyclopedic collection of about 5,000 textiles ranging from Egyptian mummy linen to contemporary fiber art. In 1997, Hanson completed graduate training in textile conservation at the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation. She earned a BA in art history from Mount Holyoke College and an MA in arts administration from New York University. Hanson is textiles field editor for AATA Online: Abstracts of International Conservation Literature and is associate editor for textiles for the peer-reviewed Journal of the American Institute for Conservation.

Christine Howald, PhD in history, is deputy director of the Zentralarchiv (Central Archive) and provenance researcher for the Asia collections at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (National Museums in Berlin) and heads the research focus Tracing East Asian Art (TEAA) at Technische Universität Berlin. Her projects focus on the European market for East Asian art and colonial withdrawal contexts in Asia in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Howald is the cofounder of the international network and workshop series “Provenance Research on East Asian Art.” She has published on the marketing of the Yuanmingyuan loot in Paris and London in the 1860s and is coeditor of the volume Acquiring Cultures: Histories of World Art on Western Markets (de Gruyter, 2018) and of two issues of the Journal for Art Market Studies: “Asian Art: Markets, Provenance, History” (Vol. 2, No. 3, 2018) and “Asian Art: The Formation of Collections” (Vol. 4, No. 2, 2020).

Jeannie Kenmotsu, PhD, is The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art at the Portland Art Museum in Portland, Oregon. She specializes in the art of early modern Japan—particularly the relationship between printed color, painting, and natural history in the eighteenth century. Other interests include contemporary Asian art, the illustrated book, and the international postwar reception of modern Japanese prints. She is a senior fellow with the Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (Rare Book School, University of Virginia). Her research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Japan Foundation, and the Blakemore Foundation, among others.

Sarah Laursen is the Alan J. Dworsky Associate Curator of Chinese Art at the Harvard Art Museums and oversees the Chinese art collection as well as Korean paintings and decorative art and South and Southeast Asian Buddhist art. A specialist in early medieval China, her research interests include Chinese archaeology, digital humanities, technical art history, collecting history, and contemporary Asian and Asian American art. She was previously curator of Asian art at Middlebury College Museum of Art, where she organized exhibitions such as Lost Luxuries: Ancient Chinese Gold, Hong Chun Zhang: Hair Story in Charcoal and Ink, and Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World. Her recent digital projects include Reframing Tianlongshan, Vermont Art Online, and NW X NE.

MacKenzie Mallon is the provenance specialist at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where she works alongside the curatorial department to research the provenance of the museum’s collection. She curated the exhibitions Origins: Collecting to Create the Nelson-Atkins (on view through March 6, 2022) and Discriminating Thieves: Nazi-Looted Art and Restitution (2019). Her essay “Laying the Foundation: Harold Woodbury Parsons and the Making of an American Museum” appears in Art Markets, Agents and Collectors: Collecting Strategies in Europe and the United States, 1550–1950 (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2021). Mallon is a frequent speaker and moderator at provenance research-related programs.

Darielle Mason has been at the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 1996 and was previously at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She also serves as adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania, from where she received her PhD. Her exhibitions/publications include Gods, Guardians, and Lovers: Temple Sculptures from North India A.D. 700–1200 (Asia Society, 1993); Intimate Worlds: Masterpieces of Indian Painting from the Alvin O. Bellak Collection (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2001); and Kantha: The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz and the Stella Kramrisch Collections (Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2009–2010; winner of CAA’s Alfred H. Barr Jr. Award). One current project is the book Storied Stone: The Case of the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s South Indian Temple Hall (forthcoming from Yale University Press, 2022).

Julie Robin is a graduate of the École du Louvre, with a specialization in Asian arts. She is currently working toward a PhD at the École du Louvre and the University of Lille. Her research focuses on the Chinese art dealers in Paris at the beginning of the twentieth century in order to investigate their networks, collections, and roles near the collectors and the museums. This work relates to studies of the Parisian Asian art market and provenance research.

Jason Steuber has worked at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (Asian art curator, 1994–2006); the University of Glasgow (Leverhulme Fellow, 2006–2007); the University of Florida’s Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art (Cofrin Curator and Chair of Asian Art, 2008–2019); and the Appleton Museum of Art (director, 2019–). His articles, books, and international symposia focus on East Asian art, archaeology, and histories of Asian art collectors, museum collections, and exhibitions. He founded and edited the David A. Cofrin Asian Art Manuscript Series (University Press of Florida). Peer service includes the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Art Bulletin, the College Art Association, and the Steering Committee of the American Curators of Asian Art.

Maja Veselič holds a PhD in anthropology and is an assistant professor of sinology in the Department of Asian Studies, Faculty of Arts at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Her research interests include religion and ethnicity in East Asia, and, more recently, the circulation of objects and ideas between East Asia and Europe. She is also a researcher involved in the East Asian Collections in Slovenia project, in which she focuses on old East Asian photographs and postcards in public and private collections. She is also a member of the Pagode–Europeana China project, which aims to improve the digitization and presentation of Chinese cultural heritage in Europeana, the European digital library.

Educated at Columbia University (BA), Harvard, and the University of Toronto (MA), John E. Vollmer has held senior curatorial appointments at the Royal Ontario Museum and the Glenbow-Alberta Institute. He was director of the Kent State University Museum and was the founding executive director of Toronto’s Design Exchange. He has taught at universities in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Asia and has published widely on Asian textiles. He is president of Vollmer Cultural Consultants Inc., specializing in strategic planning and practical program development for public and private sector clients in the fields of museum education, arts, and culture in the United States, Canada, and Asia.