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Advisory Board

Advisory board in the Dahlem museums, 2011; photo: Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz
Advisory board in the Dahlem museums, 2011; photo: Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz

The Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz set up the advisory board, composed of museum experts from around the world, to assist in the development of the new display of the National Museum’s collections of its Ethnological Museum (Ethnologisches Museum) and Asian Art Museum (Museum für Asiatische Kunst), both due to be relocated to the Humboldt Forum.

The advisory board of international museum specialists works in a consultative capacity towards fine-tuning the exhibition concept, avoiding eurocentric views, and meeting the demands of such a massive project within its time frame. In April 2011 a three-day workshop was held with the members. In a series of podium discussions and several smaller talks, an array of suggestions were put forward. Ideas raised included: that the collaboration between the two museums themselves and between the museums and organizations and figures from the non-European cultures on which their collections are based will have to be strengthened in the Humboldt Forum. The relationship between contemporary art and the historical collections will have to be reviewed, so that future exhibitions will place, in a responsible manner, the collection of historical artefacts within the context of their time, while simultaneously taking into account our globalized world and the altered cultural ties to the regions from where the objects originated.



The members of the Advisory Board

George O. Abungu

Vice-Chairman, Bureau of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee
Former Director of the National Museums of Kenya
George O. Abungu is the Proprietor and Chief Executive of Okello Abungu Heritage Consultants. He works as an independent consultant and advisor for various organizations and heritage training programmes in Africa, Europe and the USA. From 1999 to 2002 he was the Director General of the National Museums of Kenya, and Director for Regional Museums, Sites & Monuments from 1996 to 1999. He was the Founding Chairman of “Africa 2009” and the Programme for Museum Development in Africa, and is currently the Chairman of the International Standing Committee on the Traffic of Illicit Antiquities. He is on the Executive Council of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and has recently been elected the Kenyan government delegate for the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

Christoph Antweiler

Professor of Ethnology, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Head of the Department of Southeast Asian Studies at the Institute of Oriental and Asian Studies
Christoph Antweiler is professor of anthropology at the University of Bonn where he heads the Department of Southeast Asian Studies. Formerly, he was chairman of the Centre for East Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Trier and of the Working Group for Development Anthropology. From 1993 to 1995, Antweiler was Managing Director of the Working Group for Development Anthropology. In 1991-1992 he visited Makassar in Sulawesi/Indonesia, where he conducted stationary fieldwork.

Claudia Augustat

Head of the South America Collections, Museum of Ethnology, Vienna
Claudia Augustat became Head of the South America Department at the Museum of Ethnology in Vienna in July 2004. She has studied Ethnology, Art History, and Oriental Art History at the University of Bonn. In 2002 and 2004 she was academic museum assistant in training at the Ethnological Museum Berlin. In 1999 and 2000 she conducted fieldwork among the Piaroa ethnic group in the Venezuelan state of Amazonas. In 1994, Augustat was curator of the Americas collection at the Museum of World Cultures, Frankfurt/Main.

Milo C. Beach

Former Director of the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.
Milo C. Beach is former director of the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. He is a renowned scholar of South Asian painting and author of numerous books and articles. Beach has lived and studied extensively in India and has served as a curator at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore and Harvard University’s Fogg Art Museum. He is a frequent contributor to journals and symposia and has lectured at universities, museums, and other institutions around the world.

Elizabeth Hill Boone

Professor, Martha and Donald Robertson Chair in Latin American Art, Newcomb Art Department, Tulane University, New Orleans
Elizabeth Hill Boone is head of Tulane University’s Newcomb Art Department in New Orleans, where she has been professor since 1994. From 1980 to 1983 she was curator of the Pre-Columbian collections in Dumbarton Oaks. Prior to that, she worked as a Research Associate at the Research Center for the Arts of the University of Texas at San Antonio. Her PhD thesis was on Pre-Columbian Art and History.

Clara Isabel Botero

Anthropologist, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, ColombiaClara Isabel Botero is an anthropologist at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. She is the former director of the Gold Museum of the Banco de la República in Bogotá and was in charge of the new construction and installment of the Gold Museum (Museo del Oro). Botero has been working at the Columbian Institute for Anthropology and was in charge of designing the new rooms of the ethnographic and archaeological departments at the National Museum.

Dawn Casey

Director of the Powerhouse Museum, SydneyDawn Casey is director of the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney and professor at both the University of Technology, Sydney, and the University of Queensland. From 2005 to 2007, she was Chief Executive Officer of the Western Australian Museum. Casey is widely known nationally and internationally for her work as the Director of the National Museum of Australia. She was responsible for the construction and development of the museum that opened as a Centenary of Federation project in 2001. Casey’s other experience includes her major contribution to Indigenous policies and programmes and Australia’s Cultural Heritage nationally.

Dipesh Chakrabarty

Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History, South Asian Languages & Civilizations and the College, The University of Chicago
Dipesh Chakrabarty is Professor of History, South Asian Languages and Civilizations, and the College at the University of Chicago. He also holds an Honorary Professorial Fellowship with the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He is a founding member of the editorial collective of Subaltern Studies, co-editor of Critical Inquiry, and founding editor of Postcolonial Studies. Chakrabarty’s current research focuses on the development of history as a profession in South Asia in the first half of the twentieth century and its relationship to public life. He has also been working on changing forms of mass-politics in the subcontinent.

Vishakha N. Desai

President and CEO of the Asia Society
Vishakha N. Desai is President of the Asia Society. As the Director of the Society’s Museum and Cultural Programs she was responsible for the management of the Society’s renovation of its New York City headquarters and for its 2001 inaugural season. Prior to joining the Asia Society, Desai was a curator of Indian, Southeast Asian and Islamic Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. A scholar of classical Indian art, Desai has built an international reputation for introducing contemporary Asian art to a broad audience and using it to illuminate historical trends and their influence on the development of today’s society.

Steven Engelsman

Director of the Museum of Ethnology, Vienna
Steven Engelsman became Director of the Vienna Museum of Ethnology, Austria, in 2012. For more than 15 years Engelsman was the Director of the National Museum of Ethnology in Leiden, The Netherlands. Since he took up his position in 1992, the museum has gone through a range of transformations: It evolved from a government agency into an independent organization, collections management was brought up to standard, and the museum’s buildings and permanent displays were completely renovated. Engelsman has been one of the founders of the ASEMUS network of Asian and European Museums. He was formerly Deputy Director of the National Museum of the History of Science of the Netherlands.

Katharina Epprecht

Deputy Director, Museum Rietberg, Zurich
Katharina Epprecht has been working at the Museum Rietberg, Zurich, as curator of Japanese Art since 1998 and became the museum’s Deputy Director in 2007. Since then, she has been in charge of all departments of the museum. Epprecht has developed and realized numerous exhibitions on various aspects of Japanese art for the Museum Rietberg; these included the opening exhibition of the new museum annex in 2007, where early Buddhist sculptures from the 7th to 14th centuries were on display. In the past years, her focus has been particularly on influences of traditional Japanese art and aesthetics on the present.

William Fitzhugh

Director, Arctic Studies Center, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution
Anthropologist William Fitzhugh is Director of the Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center. He is the curator of the Arctic and Subarctic archaeological collections of the Smithsonian Institution at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Jacques Giès

President, Guimet National Museum of Asian Art (Musée Guimet), Paris
Jacques Giès is President of the Musée Guimet in Paris. Being at the same time a curator at the museum, he is in charge of the Department of the Arts of China and Central Asia. He has curated numerous exhibitions, including a large display on Taoism in 2010. In addition, Giès has frequently taught at universities. He became the Musée Guimet’s Chief Conservator in 1993 and was subsequently in charge of newly installing several galleries.

Michael Gilsenan

Director of the Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies, New York
Michael Gilsenan is Director of the Hapog Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies in New York and Professor of Near Eastern and Islamic Studies at the University of New York (NYU). From 1996 to 2004 he was head of the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of New York. Prior to that, he held the Khaled bin Abdullah Al Saud Chair in the Study of the Contemporary Arab World at the Magdalen College, Oxford. Most recently, Gilsenan has been working in Singapore (with periods spent in Java and Penang) on the Arab migrations to Southeast Asia since the mid-nineteenth century. He has also done field research in Egypt on the sociology of the Sufi brotherhood, and in the Lebanon on violence and hierarchy in a region of North Lebanon.

Hans Peter Hahn

Professor of Ethnology, Institute of Historical Ethnology, Goethe University, Frankfurt/Main
Hans Peter Hahn holds the position of professor of anthropology at the Goethe University, Frankfurt. He is currently Vice-President of the German Anthropological Association. From 1997-2000 he was in charge of a cooperation with the National Museum of Togo in Lomé. In this project, he organized several workshops in Togo on exhibition didactics and maintenance of collections, and installed a regional museum in the capital of the northern province of Togo, Dapaong, in 2000. From 1997 to 2007 he was assistant professor at Bayreuth University where he carried out research on consumption and migration in Burkina Faso. Hahn explored the question of how global consumption patterns are mirrored in rural life in the West African Savannah.

Jyotindra Jain

Professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
Jyotindra Jain was Director of the Crafts Museum, Delhi from 1984 to 2000. As a Director he revived traditional arts and handicrafts of India, including those from the tribal areas. He invited traditional artists and craftsmen from all over India to Delhi and presented their work in pioneering exhibitions, according them the same honour and attention generally shown towards ‘modern’ artists. Jain breaks down prejudices concerning crafts and art, tradition and modernity, ‘low’ and ‘high’ culture. Currently, Jyotindra Jain is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the School of Arts and Aesthetics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi. From 2000-2008 he was Professor and Director of the School of Arts and Aesthetics, and from 2008-2010 head of the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, an art academy in Delhi.

Margaret Kartomi

Professor of Music at Monash University, Australia
Margaret Kartomi is Professor of Music at Monash University, Australia. She was a Director-at-Large of the International Musicological Society from 1993-2003. Kartomi was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1982 and was made a Corresponding Member of the American Musicological Society in 2004. She is the world expert on the traditional music of Sumatra, Indonesia, and a leader in the discipline of Ethnomusicology. Her research is wide ranging. She has published on the traditional musics of Indonesia, China, Malaysia and Aboriginal Australia. Most recently, Professor Kartomi has continued her lifelong research on the traditional music of Sumatra. She has undertaken many field trips to study, for the first time, the musical lives of the Acehense, the people of the province of Aceh in Sumatra.

Hyonjeong Kim-Han

Curator of Korean Art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
Hyonjeong Kim Han is Curator of Korean Art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and head of the museum’s Korean art department. Until 2010 she was the Associate Curator of Chinese and Korean Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She was in charge of designing the museum’s new galleries of Korean art, which opened in 2009. The LACMA holds what is generally recognized as the most comprehensive Korean art collection outside of Asia. Kim’s specific expertise is Korean painting of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but she has continuously sought to look at art critically in order to understand it from a cross-cultural, interdisciplinary perspective. She has curated LACMA’s big summer exhibition of 2009, “Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists From Korea.”

Lee Chor-Lin

Director of the National Museum of Singapore
Lee Chor-Lin is the Director of the National Museum of Singapore. Until 2003 she was Senior Curator at the Asian Civilisations Museum for the Chinese and Southeast Asian collections. As the Director of the National Museum she undertook the major redevelopment of the then 116-year-old institution. Re-opened in December 2006, the National Museum of Singapore is the oldest, yet currently also the largest and most modern museum in Singapore. Chor Lin was instrumental in the revitalisation of museum culture in Singapore, by creating innovative programmes of spectacular international exhibitions such as the Greek Masterpieces from the Louvre, the Ancient Egyptian exhibition, the current Pompeii exhibition, and of programmes such as the Night Festival.

Lothar Ledderose

Professor Emeritus of East Asian Art, Institute of East Asian Art History, University of Heidelberg
Lothar Ledderose is professor of the History of Art of Eastern Asia at the University of Heidelberg and Dean of its Philosophical-Historical Faculty. He was a researcher at Tokio University’s Oriental Cultural Institute (1973-1975) and at the Museum of East Asian Art in Berlin. (1975-1976). He is a corresponding member of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut (German Archaeological Institute) and the British Academy. He has been a board member of the Deutsche Morgenländische Gesellschaft (German Oriental Society) and, in 1986, president of the ICANAS (International Congress of Asian and North-African Studies) in Hamburg.

Jeong-hee Lee-Kalisch

Professor of East Asian Art History, Institute of Art History, Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin)
Jeong-hee Lee-Kalisch is Professor of East Asian History in the Institute of Art History at the Freie Universität Berlin. Since 2006 she has been a member of the curatorial staff of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ostasiatische Kunst (German Society for East Asian Art). From 2002-2007 she was head of the exhibition project “Tibet – Treasures from Tibetan Monasteries” of the Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Museum of Asian Art) Berlin, from 1995-2000 Head Curator of the exhibition project “Korea: The Old Kingdoms” presented by the Kulturstiftung Ruhr, the Hypo-Kulturstiftung and the Rietberg Museum Zurich. In 1989-1990, Lee-Kalisch was a curator at the Museum for East Asian Art in Cologne.

Albert Lutz

Director of the Museum Rietberg, Zurich
Being curator of the Chinese Department, Albert Lutz has been Director of the Museum Rietberg Zurich since 1998. The Museum Rietberg is home to a fine collection of arts from Asia, Africa, America, and Oceania. Being the only museum of non-European cultures in Switzerland, it owes its international reputation to the selectness of its collections. In collaboration with cultural institutions worldwide, the museum organizes two or three major exhibitions each year which are accompanied by a wide range of public activities. In 2007 the spectacular, mainly subterranean extension of the museum was opened. Not only has exhibition space thus become doubled, the museum collection is also presented in a completely new way.

Stéphane Martin

CEO, Musée du quai Branly, Paris
Stéphane Martin was appointed President-Director General of the public establishment of the Musée du quai Branly in 1998. He presided over the commission for verification of accounts and monitoring of public establishments in the Republic of Senegal from 1986 to 1989 and held a variety of postitions in the cultural sector – most notably that of General Director of the Centre Georges-Pompidou from 1989 to 1990, Director of Music and Dance from 1993 to 1995, and Director of the Office of Philippe Douste-Blazy, Minister of Culture, from 1995 to 1997. At the same time, he was Vice-President of the association of the Musée de l’Homme, des Arts et des Civilisations. Since 1998, he has also has been presiding over the Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Julian Raby

Director of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (Smithsonian Institution), Washington
Julian Raby was appointed director of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in 2002. He has championed such popular exhibitions as “Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries” (2007), which closed with the highest average daily attendance in the gallery’s history. In addition, Raby has served as curator, concept designer and consultant for numerous museum exhibitions in both the United States and abroad including the landmark “Iznik, The Pottery of Ottoman Turkey,” Turkish & Islamic Arts Museum in Istanbul (1989). Raby also has extensive experience in the field of publishing, where he has distinguished himself in the area of Asian studies as author, editor and publisher.

Lawrence Rosen

William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University
Lawrence Rosen is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Anthropology at Princeton University and Adjunct Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. As an anthropologist he has worked mostly in North Africa on Arab social life and Islamic law; as an attorney he has worked mostly on the rights of indigenous peoples and American socio-legal issues. He is a member of the bar of the State of North Carolina and the U.S. Supreme Court. Named to the first group of MacArthur Award Fellows, he has held grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, The National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation. He carried out extensive fieldwork in Morocco, Tunisia and Malaysia on national legal systems and local courts and related fields of interest.

Jette Sandahl

Director of Københavns Museum in Copenhagen
Jette Sandahl is Director of the City Museum Copenhagen (Københavns Museum). Formerly, she was Director of the Te Papa Tongarewa Museum Wellington in New Zealand. As the Founding Director of the National Museum of World Cultures in Göteborg (Gothenburg) in Sweden, she developed and tested novel ways of designing exhibitions, and interlinked the museum with a worldwide network of artists and exhibition makers. In the City Museum Copenhagen, too, she plans to realize a new concept using innovative approaches in the near future.

Adele Schlombs

Director of the Museum of East Asian Art, Cologne
Adele Schlombs has been the Director of the Museum of East Asian Art Cologne since 1991. She is also a lecturer on Chinese and Japan art at the Institute of Art History, Cologne University. Since 1991 she curated numerous exhibitions of Chinese, Korean and Japanese art at the Museum of East Asian Art Cologne, several of them with international loans from museum and private collections, and thematic exhibitions with the museum’s own holdings. Adele Schlombs was responsible for the extension and refurbishment of the galleries that took place from 1993-1995. Since 2006 she prepared several special exhibitions (The Heart of Enlightenment: Buddhist Art from China 550-600; Surimono: The Art of Allusion).

Klaus Schneider

Director of the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum – Kulturen der Welt, Cologne
Klaus Schneider is Managing Director of the Rautenstrauch-Joest-Museum Kulturen der Welt (Rautenstrauch-Joest Museum of World Cultures) in Cologne and Honorary Professor at the University of Cologne’s Institute of Ethnology. Formerly, Schneider was Vice Director of the Ethnological Museum Hamburg. He designed the concept for a new building and successfully realized that project; the new building opened in 2009. In the course of his work as an anthropologist, Schneider has done research in West Africa for many years.

Anthony Shelton

Director of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Anthony Shelton is Director of the Museum of Anthropology at the Universiy of British Columbia, Vancouver and Professor of Anthropology and Adjunct Professor of Art History, Visual Culture and Theory at the University of British Columbia. Previously he was Head of Collections, Research and Development at the Horniman Museum in London. His research interests range from theoretical foundations of anthropology to the incorporation of Latin American Art into Western collections. His active research includes work on the development and institutionalisation of visual cultures in 19th and 20th century Yucatan.

Yukiko Shirahara

Chief Curator at the Nezu Institute of Fine Arts in Tokyo, Japan
Yukiko Shirahara is the Chief Curator at the Nezu Institute of Fine Arts in Tokyo, Japan. Previously, she was Asian arts curator at the Seattle Art Museum, USA. The Nezu Museum, one of the most important private museums of Japan with large holdings of Japanese and Chinese art, was completely rebuilt in the years 2006-2009. Shirahara is a specialist in Buddhist and Shinto painting. At the SAM, she organized the groundbreaking exhibition “Japan Envisions the West: 16th -19th Century Japanese Art from Kobe City Museum”. From 1991 to 2000, while pursuing her doctorate, Shirahara worked as a part-time curatorial assistant and librarian for the Nezu Institute of Fine Arts in Tokyo, where she participated in the planning and presentation of some 30 exhibitions.

Samuel Sidibé

Director of the Musée National du Mali
Samuel Sidibé is the Director of the National Museum of Mali, and a leading advocate confronting the controversial issue of reclaiming works held in Northern countries. From 2001 to 2003, Sidibé performed a major rehabilitation and expansion programme of the National Museum. This expansion, in addition to offering more possibilities for exhibiting the Malian cultural heritage, is also in line with the National Museum’s policy of opening itself to contemporary creation. This policy took concrete form in the organisation of an important regional exhibition of contemporary art in 2007 that brought together artists coming from North Africa and the south of the Sahara. In 2007 the museum under Sidibé received the 2007 Prince Claus prize, awarded in recognition his efforts to fight illicit traffic of cultural goods.

Huhana Smith

Research Leader Māori at the Centre for Ecological Economics, Massey University, Palmerston North
Huhana Smith is an artist/painter, academic and environmentalist with continuing links to Massey University in Palmerston North and Wellington. She was the Senior Curator Māori at the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa up until December 2009. For that position she was actively engaged in the intricacies of research surrounding the taonga Māori collection for publications, exhibitions, collections online and international exhibitions, with an interest and involvement in the contemporary Māori art/visual culture arena. Huhana resigned from the Museum position at the end of 2009, to take time out to lead the research required for “Manaaki Taha Moana: Enhancing Coastal Ecosystems for Iwi” (2010-2015). Since 2000 Huhana has been actively engaged in the rehabilitation of coastal ecosystems in decline.

Nicholas Thomas

Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Cambridge
Nicholas Thomas is the Director of the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Cambridge. He has held professorships at the Australian National University and Goldsmiths College, London. Thomas visited Polynesia first in 1984 to research his PhD thesis on the Marquesas Islands; later he worked in Fiji and New Zealand, as well as in many archives and museum collections in Europe, North America, and the Pacific itself, and has written widely on art, voyages, colonial encounters, and contemporary culture in the Pacific. His exhibitions have included “Skin Deep: A History of Tattooing” for the National Maritime Museum, London, and “Cook’s Sites”, a collaboration with the New Zealand photographer Mark Adams, for the Museum of Sydney.

Melanie Trede

Professor for the History of Japanese Art, Institute of East Asian Art History, Ruprecht-Karls University Heidelberg
Melanie Trede is Professor for the History of Japanese Art at Heidelberg University. She taught at Columbia University and the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University between 1999 and 2004. Trede was a research fellow at Gakushuin University in Tokyo (2003) and will be the Toyota Visiting Professor at the Center for Japanese Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2011/12). Her research and publication interests include pictorial narratives, gender issues and art history, collecting histories, art historiographies and terminologies. She currently works on two projects that involve the Political Iconography of Pictorial Narratives in Medieval Japan, and art exhibition strategies between Japan and Germany in the 1930s and 40s.

James C. Watt

Brooke Russell Astor Chairman Department of Asian Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art
James C. Y. Watt is the Brooke Russell Astor Chairman of the Metropolitan Museum’s Department of Asian Art. He has worked at the Museum for 25 years. Previously he was Curator of Asiatic Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1981–85), and Curator of the Art Gallery, Chinese University of Hong Kong (1971–81). Watt planned and installed the Charlotte C. Weber Galleries for the Arts of Ancient China, which opened in 1987, and the Florence and Herbert Irving Galleries of Chinese Decorative Arts, which opened in 1997. He has also organized numerous exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Tobias Wendl

Professor of African Art, Institute of Art History, Department of African Art, Free University of Berlin (Freie Universität Berlin)
Tobias Wendl is Professor at the Institute of Art History, Free University of Berlin. Until recently he served as director of the Iwalewa House, the Africa Centre of the University of Bayreuth. Since 1981 he has traveled to Africa and spent more than four years conducting research in countries such as Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, and South Africa. During his academic career, Wendl has taught at the Universities of Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Bayreuth, and Berlin. He has authored and edited numerous books, documentaries, scholarly articles, and exhibitions. His fields of interest include Contemporary Arts, Media Studies, Cinema, Popular and Urban Culture, Music and Religion.

Manuelito Wheeler

Director of the Navajo Nation Museum, Window Rock, Arizona
Manuelito Wheeler was born and raised on the Navajo Nation and is currently the Director of the Navajo Nation Museum in Window Rock, Arizona, serving as the director of the tribal museum since 2008. In collaboration with the other museum staff, more than ten exhibits have been completed, all produced in-house. Wheeler has over 12 years of exhibit development experience that includes concept, design, construction, and installation. Prior to his current position, Wheeler spent more than 10 years working at the Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona, and rose through the ranks from carpenter’s assistant to creative director. While at the Heard Museum, he installed more than 75 exhibits, including travelling exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution and the Autry Museum.

Jay Xu

Director of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture
Jay Xu is the Director of the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco. He is a scholar of Chinese antiquities and a curator committed to sharing his extensive knowledge of Asian art with a wide audience. He has been the Pritzker Chairman, Department of Asian and Ancient Art at The Art Institute of Chicago since 2006, after serving as Pritzker Curator of Asian Art since 2003. Prior to that, he served as Head of the Department of Asian Art at the Seattle Art Museum. Before his appointment at the Seattle Art Museum, Xu was a fellow in the Department of Asian Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.