Sarah Laursen has been appointed the Harvard Art Museums’ new associate curator of Chinese art. She currently serves as curator of Asian art at the Middlebury College Museum of Art in Vermont, where she also works as an assistant professor. Since joining the college, Laursen spearheaded the reinstallation of its Robert F. Reiff Gallery of Asian Art and curated numerous exhibitions including “Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World” (2016) and the forthcoming shows “Lost Luxuries: Ancient Chinese Gold,” “Hong Chun Zhang: Hair Story in Charcoal and Ink,” and “Into the Screen: Digital Art from teamLab.”

A specialist in early medieval China, Laursen returns to Harvard after previously working on a project to digitize the Arthur M. Sackler Museum’s Asian collections in the early 2000s. In her new role, Laursen will be responsible for the maintenance, research, and presentation of the museums’ holdings of Chinese art and will contribute to the care of the museums’ Korean art and Buddhist art collections. She will also collaborate with Harvard students and faculty on undergraduate and graduate coursework. She takes up the post on June 15.

“I am humbled and excited to return to the Harvard Art Museums, which have shaped my experience of art history since my first visit in high school,” said Laursen. “While participating in the inventory project supported by the Carpenter Foundation, I had an opportunity to glimpse the breadth of the Chinese collection and scratch the surface of its storied past. Today, I am thrilled at the prospect of delving deeper into the study of these extraordinary objects and to find innovative ways to share them with the Harvard community, the greater Boston area, and the world.”


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