Julie Nelson Davis, Senior Consulting Curator, is Professor of the History of Art at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Professor Davis received her BA from Reed College, studied in Japan as a Monbushō fellow at the Osaka University of Foreign Languages and at Gakushūin University, and completed her PhD at the University of Washington. She has received numerous awards and fellowships, among them, the Abe Yoshishige Fellowship at Gakushūin University, the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellowship, and the Trustees’ Council of Penn Women’s 25th Anniversary Award for Excellence in Advising. Her research focuses on ukiyo-e and the arts of the Tokugawa period. Dr. Davis’s most recent books include Utamaro and the Spectacle of Beauty (2007), Partners in Print: Artistic Collaboration and the Ukiyo-e Market (2015) and Ukiyo-e in Context (forthcoming).
Alessandro Bianchi, Project Researcher and Cataloguer, has served as a postdoctoral museum research fellow at the Freer and Sackler Galleries since spring 2015. He received a doctorate degree from the University of Cambridge (2015) as well as master and bachelor degrees in Languages and Civilizations of East Asia (Japanese) from the Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia in his native Italy. Dr. Bianchi has studied extensively in Japan and as a librarian has catalogued several collections of Tokugawa-period printed books and manuscripts.
Amy Reigle Newland, Project Editor, is an independent art historian and specialist editor based in Australia. Working as editor and writer in the field of Japanese woodblock prints, Dr. Newland’s recent publications include Printed to Perfection: Twentieth-century Japanese Prints from the Robert O. Muller Collection (2004); The Beauty of Silence: Japanese Nō and Nature Prints by Tsukioka Kōgyo 1869–1927 (2010); Yoshitoshi: Masterpieces from the Ed Fries Collection (2011); Kuniyoshi: Japanese Master of Imagined Worlds (2013); Takehisa Yumeji (2015); and Waves of Renewal: Modern Japanese Prints 1900 to 1960 (2016). She received her PhD from the University of Auckland.
Sayumi Takahashi Harb, Project Translator, is an independent scholar with a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory, with a specialization in Women’s Studies. Her areas of focus and interest include gender studies, premodern Japanese poetics and literati culture, multimedia and word/image studies, history of the book, materiality, modern Japanese literature, Japanese film, and visual culture in transnational contexts, as well as Asian-American literature.
Matt Alt has been working as a Japanese translator and writer since the early 1990s. For four of those years he was employed as a technical translator for the United States Patent and Trademark Office. He currently lives in Tokyo, where he cofounded AltJapan Co., Ltd., a company that specializes in the localization of video games, manga, anime, and other Japanese entertainment for foreign markets. He is the coauthor of numerous books about Japan, including Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide and Yurei Attack! The Japanese Ghost Survival Guide.
Sherry D. Fowler is Professor of Art History at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. She received her PhD in Japanese art history from UCLA. Her scholarly interests range from ninth-century Buddhist sculpture and medieval bronze bells to nineteenth-century Japanese prints. Her publications include Murōji: Rearranging Art and History at a Japanese Buddhist Temple (2005) and Accounts and Images of Six Kannon in Japan (forthcoming), and her passion for printed material is evident in the article “Views of Japanese Temples and Shrines from Near and Far: Precinct Prints of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries” in Artibus Asiae (2008) and the essay “Kannon Imagery in the Life of the Seventeenth-Century Manual Butsuzō zui” in Moving Signs and Shifting Discourses: Text Image Relations in East Asian Art (forthcoming). Her current research focus is on the relationship between Japanese prints and pilgrimage practices.
Erin Schoneveld is Assistant Professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, where she teaches courses in modern and contemporary Japanese art, literature, film, and visual culture. Dr. Schoneveld received her BA in East Asian Studies from Brown University and completed her MA and PhD in the history of art from the University of Pennsylvania. Her current research project on the Taishō-period art and literary journal Shirakaba (White birch; 1910–23) has received support from the Japan Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Henry Luce Foundation.
Oikawa Shigeru is Emeritus Professor at Japan Women’s University (Nihon Joshi Daigaku) in Tokyo. He has written extensively on the artist Kawanabe Kyōsai and about the engagement of nineteenth-century European artists with Japanese woodblock prints (ukiyo-e). He has written and coauthored a number of articles and books relating to these topics, including Saigo no ukiyo-eshi, Kawanabe Kyōsai (1998); “Edo Ukiyo-e Prints in European Artists’ Works” (Daruma, 2003); A Japanese Menagerie: Animal Pictures by Kawanabe Kyōsai (British Museum, 2006); Georges Bigot (exh. cat., Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 2009); Efficacité de la caricature: Georges Bigot et le salon des beaux-arts à l'exposition intérieure de Kyoto en 1895, in Efficacité-Efficacy: How to do things with words and images (2011); and Le Japonisme de Hiroshige à Van Gogh (exh. cat., Pinacothèque de Paris, 2012).
Alicia Volk teaches Japanese art from the earliest times to the present at the University of Maryland. Professor Volk received her PhD from Yale University; her research has been supported by fellowships and grants from the J. Paul Getty Foundation, the Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, and the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, among others. Her scholarship focuses on Japanese art of the nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first centuries in a variety of mediums and often in relation to the arts of Europe, the United States, and Asia. Her books include Made in Japan: The Postwar Creative Print Movement (2005); In Pursuit of Universalism: Yorozu Tetsugorō and Japanese Modern Art (2010), winner of the inaugural Phillips Book Prize; and Democratizing Japanese Art 1945–1960 (forthcoming).
Gerhard Pulverer, a medical doctor and microbiologist educated in Vienna, Austria, was a leading biomedical research scientist in Germany. He was appointed director of the Institute of Hygiene at the University of Cologne, the position he held until his retirement in 1999. Beginning in the 1970s, Dr. Pulverer and his wife, Rosemarie, focused on collecting Japanese illustrated books. They were encouraged by English art expert Jack Hillier, the American scholar Roger Keyes, and Matthi Forrer, a professor at the University of Leiden. Years later the Pulverers acquired a substantial part of the Japanese book collection assembled by Berlin art dealer Felix Tikotin. Dr. Pulverer's wish to have his renowned collection acquired by a museum where it would be conserved, researched, and exhibited was realized when the books arrived at their new permanent home, the Freer Gallery of Art.
Matthi Forrer is an art historian specializing in Japanese art of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially prints, illustrated books, paintings, and drawings. Dr. Forrer studied Japanese language and literature at the University of Leiden and art of East Asia at the University of Amsterdam. He received his PhD from Leiden University in 1985. He has published several monographs on Hokusai, including Hokusai: Prints and Drawings (Munich: Prestel, 1991), Hokusai: Bridging East and West (Toky Nihon Keizai Shinbunsha, 1998), and Hokusai: Mountains and Water, Flowers and Birds (New York: Prestel, 2004), and on various related themes, such as kyōka surimono, kyōkabon, and Eirakuya Tōshirō, the publisher of numerous books designed by Hokusai.
Edward Koren has long been associated with the New Yorker magazine, where he has published numerous covers, illustrations, and more than a thousand cartoons. He has also contributed to several other magazines (Newsweek, Time, GQ, Esquire, Vogue) and has illustrated books by Delia Ephron, Peter Mayle, George Plimpton, and Roger Berkowitz and Jane Doerfer. Koren’s cartoons, drawings, and prints have been widely exhibited across the United States and Europe. A major retrospective of his work was shown at Columbia University’s Wallach Gallery (2010) and at the University of Vermont’s Fleming Museum (2011). He lives with his family in Vermont, where he was named the state’s Cartoonist Laureate in 2014.
Keiji Shinohara was born and raised in Osaka, Japan. After ten years as an apprentice to the renowned Keiichiro Uesugi in Kyoto, he became a master printmaker and moved to the United States. Shinohara's natural abstractions are printed on rice paper with water-based inks from woodblocks in the ukiyo-e style. He has received grants from the Japan Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. A visiting artist at more than a hundred venues, Shinohara’s work is in the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, and the Library of Congress.
Ellis Tinios has long been engaged in the study of book and print production in early modern Japan. He received his PhD in history (ancient China) from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1988. In addition, he received his M.Phil. in Chinese studies (modern China) from the University of Leeds (UK) in 1972 and a BA in history from Harvard University in 1969. His publications include Japanese Prints: Ukiyo-e in Edo (British Museum Press, 2011), Understanding Japanese Illustrated Books in collaboration with Professor Suzuki Jun (Brill, 2013), and “Japanese Illustrated Erotic Books in the Context of Commercial Publishing, 1660–1868,” published in 2013 in the Japan Review: Journal of the International Research Center for Japanese Studies. Dr. Tinios has taught courses on the book in Japan at the Freer and Sackler Galleries under the auspices of the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia. He is an Honorary Lecturer in History, University of Leeds, and a Visiting Researcher, Art Research Center, Ritsumeikan University.
James Ulak is Senior Curator of Japanese Art at the Freer and Sackler Galleries. After joining the Freer|Sackler staff as curator of Japanese art in 1995, he served as deputy director (2003–2010) and head of collections and research and chief curator (2002–2003). A specialist in the history of narrative painting production in fourteenth- and fifteenth-century Japan, Ulak received his PhD from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1994. He was a researcher at the Cleveland Museum of Art, associate curator of Asian art at the Yale University Art Gallery, and associate curator of Japanese art at the Art Institute of Chicago. He has produced more than twenty exhibitions, including Patterned Feathers, Piercing Eyes: Edo Masters from the Price Collection (2008), Masters of Mercy: Buddha's Amazing Disciples (2012), and Kiyochika: Master of the Night (2014) at the Freer and Sackler Galleries. Ulak has also published widely on Japanese art, from medieval Japanese narrative painting and eighteenth-century “eccentric” painters to Japan’s artistic encounters with modernity in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In 2010 he was inducted into the Japanese Order of the Rising Sun, an honor accorded by the Japanese government, for his outstanding contribution to the field of Japanese art.
Ann Yonemura, Senior Associate Curator of Japanese Art at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, received her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College and her graduate training from Princeton University in the history of Japanese art. Since arriving at the museums, she has organized numerous exhibitions, including Ancient Japan (1992), Freer: A Taste for Japan (2006), and the major international loan exhibition Hokusai (2006). Her most recent exhibitions include Hokusai’s Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji (2012) and Hand-Held: Gerhard Pulverer’s Japanese Illustrated Books (2013) for the Sackler Gallery. In addition, Yonemura coordinated the digital photography and contributed to the research for this online scholarly catalogue. Her publications on Japanese painting, lacquer, calligraphy, and prints include Masterful Illusions: Japanese Prints in the Anne van Biema Collection (2002) and the two-volume work Hokusai (2006).
Giovanni Bottero is a PhD candidate in Japanese art history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. A native of Rome, he earned a BA in Japanese studies from Rome’s “La Sapienza” University in 2007 with a thesis on traditional Japanese tattooing. After graduation he moved to Holland, where he pursued an MA in Japanese studies at Leiden University. As part of the master's program he lived in Japan for one year, where he studied at Sophia University and Gakushūin University in Tokyo. In 2009 he began his PhD studies. In Madison he collaborated with the Chazen Museum of Art on several projects, including curating displays of Satsuma ceramics and an Edo period suit of armor, and he has catalogued the museum’s collection of netsuke carvings.