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East Asian Art Department Records

Identifier: EAA

Scope and Contents

A portion of the records documenting the activities of this department consist of correspondence and a set of files identified as "Institutional Literature." Both groups were maintained in alphabetical order and cover the years of 1991 to 1995. The earliest material, from 1991, was compiled when the department operated as the Far Eastern Art department. Most of the material, nearly 8 linear feet, documents a seminal exhibition that opened in 1994 and presented modern Japanese design to audiences in America, Europe and Osaka, Japan. Entitled "Japanese design: a survey since 1950," the exhibition featured more than 250 objects such as furniture, housewares, electronics, packaging and clothing to demonstrate Japan's contribution to modern design. The exhibition later traveled to Milan, Dusseldorf, Paris and Osaka. Curators Felice Fischer of East Asian Art and Kathryn Bloom Hiesinger of European Decorative Arts after 1700 produced the exhibition, and the architect and theorist Dr. Kisho Kurokawa designed its installation. An index resides with the files, which are arranged alphabetically.

For earlier records of the department, created prior to its designation as "East Asian Art," see the Far Eastern Art Department Records. For additional records of the 1994 "Japanese design" exhibition, see European Decorative Arts after 1700 Department Records.


  • 1991-2002


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The East Asian Art Department Records are the physical property of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Archives. The Museum holds literary rights only for material created by Museum personnel or given to the Museum with such rights specifically assigned. For all other material, literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for obtaining permission from rights holders for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Biographical / Historical

This department’s title has changed throughout the Museum’s history, and its purview at certain periods included not only Chinese and Japanese objects, but Indian and Persian as well. For more information, please see the Scope and Content Note of the Far Eastern Art Department records.

In 1992, the department took on its current designation of "East Asian Art," with Felice Fischer serving as the Associate Curator. Ms. Fischer came to the Museum as a curatorial assistant in 1972 when the department was designated Far Eastern Art. In 1997 an endowment allowed the Museum to name Ms. Fischer as the Luther W. Brady Curator of Japanese Art and Curator of East Asian Art, a position she continued to hold until her retirement in 2020. Other curators in the department include Hiromi Kinoshita, the Hannah L. and J. Welles Henderson Curator of Chinese Art and Hyunsoo Woo, the Maxine and Howard Lewis Curator of Korean Art

East Asian Art now includes objects from China, Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia and the Middle East. The collection spans from 2500 BCE to today. Currently, the department is expanding the collection with traditional and contemporary works of art. The curators are particularly interested in artists using ancient techniques, and in relating contemporary craft arts with our timeless collection by creating a dialogue with tradition.


22.5 linear feet

Language of Materials



These records contain correspondence, research, institutional literature, and exhibition files from the East Asian Art Department.

Processing Information

These materials were arranged and described by Bertha Adams, Leslie O'Neill and Susan Anderson. Funded by a grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services and National Historical Publications and Records Commission.



Guide to the East Asian Art Department Records
Finding aid prepared by Bertha Adams, Leslie O'Neill and Susan Anderson
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Script of description
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Funded by a grant from Institute of Museum and Library Services and National Historical Publications and Records Commission
Edition statement

Repository Details

Part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library and Archives Repository

Philadelphia Museum of Art
PO Box 7646
Philadelphia PA 19101-7646 United States