Jerome Silbergeld

P. Y. & Kinmay W. Tang Professor of Chinese Art History Emeritus


Jerome Silbergeld served as the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Professor of Chinese Art History at Princeton University and director of Princeton’s Tang Center for East Asian Art. He published more than seventy authored, edited, and coedited books, exhibition catalogues, articles, book chapters, and encyclopedia entries, as well as curating seven museum exhibitions, on the subjects of traditional and contemporary Chinese painting, architecture and gardens, and Chinese cinema and photographs. His publications have dealt with such topics as art in times of political upheaval and conditions of intense censorship, the aesthetics of old age, perceptions and misperceptions of historical change, “bad” art and the articulation of the negative, the relationship between architecture and paintings of architecture, regional diversity in Chinese gardens, zoomorphic and anthropomorphic iconographies, and cinema’s relationship to the premodern arts of China. Before coming to Princeton in 2001, he was the chair of Art History and director of the School of Art at the University of Washington, Seattle, where he taught for 25 years.


Ph.D., Stanford University, 1974

Selected Publications

“Literati Painting: Its Song Dynasty Origins, Initial Context, and Identity Issues,” in A Companion to Chinese Art (Wiley-Blackwell, forthcoming).

The Zoomorphic Imagination in Chinese Art and Culture, coedited with Eugene Wang (University of Hawai’i Press, forthcoming).

The Family Model in Chinese Art and Culture, coedited with Dora C.Y. Ching (Tang Center for East Asian Art and Princeton University Press, 2013).

“Cinema and the Visual Arts of China” and “From Mountain Songs to Silvery Moonlight: Some Notes on Music in Chinese Cinema,” in A Companion to Chinese Cinema, ed. Yingjin Zhang (Wiley-Blackwell, 2012).

“First Lines, Final Scenes in Text, Handscroll, and Chinese Cinema,” in Looking at Asian Art, ed. Katherine R. Tsiang and Martin J. Powers (Center for the Art of East Asia, University of Chicago, and Art Media Resources, 2012).

“Re-reading Zong Bing’s Fifth-Century Essay on Landscape Painting: A Few Critical Notes,” in A Life in Chinese Art: Essays in Honour of Michael Sullivan (Ashmolean Museum, 2012).

“All Receding Together, One Hundred Slanting Lines: Replication, Variation, and Some Fundamental Problems in the Study of Chinese Paintings of Architecture,” in Masterpieces of Ancient Chinese Paintings: Paintings from the Tang to Yuan Dynasty in Japanese and Chinese Collections (Peking University Press, 2010).

Humanism in China: A Contemporary Record of Photography (China Institute in America, 2009).

“Modernization, Periodization, Canonization in Twentieth-Century Chinese Painting,” in Writing Modern Chinese Art: Historiographic Explorations, ed. Josh Yiu (Seattle Art Museum and University of Washington Press, 2009).

Outside In: Chinese × American × Contemporary × Art (Yale University Press, 2009).

Body in Question: Image and Illusion in Two Chinese Films by Director Jiang Wen (Tang Center for East Asian Art and Princeton University Press, 2008).

“Changing Views of Change: The Song-Yuan Transition in Chinese Painting Histories,” in Asian Art History in the Twenty-First Century, ed. Vishakha N. Desai (Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute and Yale University Press, 2007).

Chinese Archaeology
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