Echoes of the Past is curated by Katherine R. Tsiang, Associate Director of the Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago, in consultation with J. Keith Wilson, Associate Director and Curator of Ancient Chinese Art, Freer and Sackler Galleries, and Richard A. Born, Senior Curator, Smart Museum of Art.

Katherine R. Tsiang

Associate Director, Center for the Art of East Asia in the Department of Art History at the University of Chicago

Katherine Renhe Tsiang oversees research materials and coordinates research projects and collaborative activities to promote and encourage new approaches to the growing field of East Asian art. The Center supports graduate student and post-doctoral research, organizes conferences, and publishes collections of papers. Katherine is the curator the “Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Caves Temples of Xiangtangshan,” working with the Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago and the Freer-Sackler Gallery in Washington D.C. to create an exhibition concept that incorporates art historical research on the sculptures and the caves with 3D digital installations. Together with Martin Powers, she is co-editing the Blackwell Companion to Chinese Art.

J. Keith Wilson

Associate Director and Curator of Ancient Chinese Art, Freer and Sackler Galleries

J. Keith Wilson completed his PhD coursework at Princeton University after receiving his MAs in Chinese art and archaeology from both the University of Michigan and Princeton University. After serving as a Mellon Fellow at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, he was appointed curator at the Cleveland Museum of Art and, later, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 2006, Keith joined the curatorial staff at the Freer and Sackler. Although his primary field of expertise continues to be Chinese antiquities, he has researched and published broadly on a range of East Asian art historical topics, including Korean and Japanese art. He is currently planning the reinstallation of the Chinese exhibits in the Freer and Sackler, in addition to a major exhibition dedicated to art produced in the late Shang dynasty capital, Anyang.

Richard A. Born

Senior Curator, The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago

With over 35 years of curatorial experience, Richard A. Born has supervised aspects of well over 100 exhibitions at the Smart Museum, where he has held a curatorial position  since 1979, and other Chicago-area art institutions, including the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, where he served as Assistant Director.  As Senior Curator at the Smart Museum, where he oversees the Modern art and design and Asian collections, he has curated Asian art exhibitions organized by the Smart Museum, including Ritual and Reverence: Chinese Art at The University of Chicago (1989) and From the Land of the Morning Calm: Traditions of Korean Art (2012).  He has been coordinating curator for Asian art projects c0-organized by the Smart Museum, including The Fragrance of Ink: Korean Literati Paintings of the Chosŏn Dynasty (1392–1910) from Korea University Museum (American co-ordinating curator and catalogue editor, in partnership with Korea University Museum, 1996). He is the author of numerous articles and catalogues, including the award-wining The Chicago Imagist Print: Ten Artist’s Works, 1958–1987: A Catalogue Raisonné (1988) and See America First: The Prints of H.C. Westermann (2001).


ISAW’s curator for the Institute’s presentation of the exhibition.

Peter D. De Staebler

Assistant Curator, ISAW

Peter D. De Staebler has been Assistant Curator at ISAW since 2011. He is a field archaeologist with 20 years of experience in Greece, Italy and Turkey, including 14 years at the NYU excavations at Aphrodisias, where he is also assistant director of the Aphrodisias Regional Survey Project. Dr. De Staebler’s primary research interest is architecture and urban development, and he is especially interested in tracking the influence of disparate cultural developments through the distribution of related trends.

Peter D. De Staebler holds an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU.