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Stanley Abe, Associate Professor of Art and Art History

Stanley AbeSpecialization:

    Chinese Art
    Theory & Criticism

Research Interests:

Stanley Abe has published on Chinese Buddhist art, contemporary Chinese art, Asian American art, Abstract Expressionism, and the construction of art historical knowledge. He is writing a critical study of how Chinese sculpture became a category of Fine Art during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


  • Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley 1989
  • M.A. University of California at Berkeley 1984
  • B.A. University of California at Berkeley 1981

Contact Info:

Office Location:  114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Smith Warehouse Bay 9, Room A289, Durham, NC 27708
Office Phone:   (919) 684-2487
Email Address:   stanley.abe@duke.edu
Web Page:  

Office Hours:

Friday 2:00–3:00 and by appointmentTeaching (Fall 2016):   (typical courses)

  • Arthist 295.01, Chinese art 1900 to present Synopsis
    East duke 204a, WF 10:05 AM-11:20 AM
  • Mfaeda 720.01, Critique i Synopsis
    Crowell 107, W 01:40 PM-05:00 PM
  • Mfaeda 722.01, Critique iii Synopsis
    Crowell 106, W 01:40 PM-05:00 PM
  • Mfaeda 791.01, Thesis writing Synopsis
    Crowell 106, W 11:45 AM-01:00 PM

Representative Publications   (More Publications)

  1. Abe, S. Ordinary Images. University of Chicago Press, (2002).
  2. Abe, S. A Freer Stela Reconsidered. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Occasional Paper, (2002).
  3. "The Modern Moment of Chinese Sculpture." Misul Charyo 美術資料 (Fine Art Materials)  vol. 82 (December, 2012): 63-82.
  4. Abe, S. "Rockefeller Home Decorating and Objects from China." Collecting China: The World, China, and a Short History of Collecting. Edited by Rujivacharakul, V.  (2011): 107–23-107–23.
  5. Abe, S. "Locating World Art." The Migrant’s Time: Rethinking Art History and Diaspora. Edited by Mathur, S.  (2011): 130-45.
  6. "China, The Buddha, and Modern Aestheticism." Re-Imagining Asia: A Thousand Years of Separation. Edited by Merali, S.  (2008): 124-133.
  7. Abe, S. "To Avoid the Inscrutable: Abstract Expressionism and the "Oriental Mode"." Discrepant Abstraction. Edited by Mercer, K.  (2006): 52-73.

Selected Invited Lectures

  1. Necessary Fictions: Imagining Sculpture in China, November 14, 2013, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities    
  2. Moving Buddha: Imagining Sculpture in China, November 8, 2013, Courtauld Institute of Art, London    
  3. Imagining Chinese Sculpture, June 05, 2013, Department of Art Research, Archives and Information Systems, National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, Tokyo, Japan    
  4. Moving Buddha: Chinese Sculpture and Global Modernity, May 14, 2013, Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan    
  5. Sculpture in the Golden Age of East Asian Art Collecting, March 16, 2012, “The Dragon and the Chrysanthemum: Collecting Chinese and Japanese Art in America” Symposium, The Frick Collection and Art Reference Library, New York    
  6. The Modern Moments of Chinese Sculpture, January 31, 2012, New York    
  7. The Modern Moment of Chinese Sculpture, November 6, 2011, National Museum of Korea, Seoul    
  8. Order and Things: The Transformation of Chinese Objects into Sculpture, March 16, 2011, Cleveland Museum of Art    
  9. Duplicates in Chinese Stone Sculpture, November 9, 2010, Victoria and Albert Museum, London    
  10. Order and Things: Art History and Chinese Sculpture, September 21, 2010, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London     [Announcement]
  11. Circa 1909: Moving Japanese and Chinese Sculpture to the United States, October 30, 2009, Circa 1909 Symposium, Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst, Köln    
Selected Other

  1. Moderator and Discussant for “Buddhist Art: Objects and Contexts”, November 10, 2011, Pulitzer Foundation of the Arts, St. Louis