ISAW Library acquires the collection of Susan L. Beningson

By Gabriel McKee

In 2016, the ISAW library received the book collection of Susan L. Beningson. We have recently completed the cataloging of this collection, which contains over 500 volumes, mainly on the art and archaeology of China.

Susan L. Beningson is Assistant Curator of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum, having joined the Museum’s staff in 2013. She received her doctorate in art history from Columbia University in 2009, writing her dissertation on the cave temples at Dunhuang. Before moving to the Brooklyn Museum, she worked at the Princeton University Art Museum and taught at Columbia, Rutgers University, and the City University of New York. Exhibitions curated by Dr. Beningson include Recarving China’s Past: Art, Archaeology, and Architecture of the “Wu Family Shrines” (Princeton University Art Museum, 2005) and Providing for the Afterlife: “Brilliant Artifacts” from Shandong (China Institute in New York, 2005). She is also a collector in her own right, and highlights from her collection of Indian jewelry were shown at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center in 2012-13 in the exhibition When Gold Blossoms: Indian Jewelry from the Susan L. Beningson Collection.

The materials in the Beningson Collection span the entire range of East and Southern Asia, with particular strengths in the Silk Road, the Dunhuang Caves, Buddhist sculpture, and archaeology of sites from the Shang through Qing Dynasties. The ISAW Library has retained materials relating to its core periods of interest, the Xia through Tang Dynasties. Material on later periods of Chinese history and art will find a home in the Stephen Chan Library at the Institute of Fine Arts and Bobst Library in Washington Square in the months to come. Items from the collection can be viewed using the search term “Beningson Collection” in Bobcat, the NYU library catalog.

The ISAW Library and the NYU Division of Libraries are deeply grateful to Dr. Beningson for the kind donation of this portion of her research library. With the incorporation of these materials into our  holdings, ISAW has substantially strengthened its ability to support research and teaching in these vital areas of ancient China and Silk Road studies.