Smithsonian’s Nationwide Museum of Asian Art Awards Life time Achievement Medals for Contributions in Asian Art

The Nationwide Museum of Asian Art has announced its 2023 recipients of the Freer Medal, a lifetime achievement award that honors persons who have significantly contributed to the comprehension of the arts of Asia throughout their occupation. This calendar year, the institution’s centennial, the honor will go to Vidya Dehejia, the Barbara Stoler Miller Professor Emerita of Indian and South Asian Art at Columbia College, and Gülru Necipoğlu, the Aga Khan Professor and Director of the Aga Khan System for Islamic Architecture at Harvard University’s Background of Art and Architecture Division. They will be honored for their lifetime perform in South Asian art and arts of the Islamic planet, respectively. The medal will be offered to Dehejia April 28 and to Necipoğlu Oct. 27.

Named immediately after the museum’s founder, Charles Lang Freer, the Freer Medal has been awarded 14 periods due to the fact its inception in 1956. This is the initially time that a scholar of South Asian and a further of Middle Japanese descent will receive the award. Only two other ladies have earlier gained the Freer Medal: It was awarded to Dame Jessica Rawson, professor of Chinese art and archaeology at the University of Oxford, in 2017 and to Stella Kramrisch, Czech art historian and top expert on South Asian artwork, in 1985.

“The Freer Medal is an crucial way in which our museum encourages and exemplifies excellence in Asian artwork scholarship,” explained Chase F. Robinson, Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art, the Nationwide Museum of Asian Artwork. “We are delighted to acknowledge the huge contributions that these scholars have designed to their fields. It is long overdue that gals of Center Japanese and Asian heritages get the Freer Medal. The museum congratulates Vidya Dehejia and Gülru Necipoğlu on this award in the course of the landmark event of our centennial.”

About the 2023 Recipients

Vidya Dehejia

Dehejia’s groundbreaking study spans millennia of art and historical past, from historic Buddhist rock-reduce architecture to colonial-time period photography. Her operate on widely ranging subject areas, together with visual narrative, gender, the this means of the unfinished, medieval yogini temples, Chola bronzes and creative production through the British Raj, have staked out new fields of inquiry for the interpretation of Asian art, though her translations of Tamil poetry and Sanskrit texts have set a regular for art historic rigor. At Columbia College, as professor of South Asian art heritage from 1982 to 2003 and as the Barbara Stoler Miller Professor of Indian and South Asian Art from 2003 to 2021, Dehejia taught and formed a era of students. She also served as the director for the Southern Asian Institute at Columbia University (2003–2008) and was the performing director, deputy director, main curator and curator of South and Southeast Asian artwork at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (1994–2002), in which she was accountable for various remarkably impressive exhibitions and scholarly catalogs. 

Dehejia holds a Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and doctorate from Cambridge University and a Bachelor of Arts from St. Xavier’s College or university, Bombay College. Highlights from her spectacular list of publications involve Devi, The Excellent Goddess: Woman Divinity in South Asian Artwork (1999), India by way of the Lens: Pictures 1840–1911 (2000), The Sensuous and the Sacred: Chola Bronzes from South India (2002), The Body Adorned: Dissolving Boundaries between Sacred and Profane in India’s Artwork (2009), The Unfinished: Stone Carvers at Perform on the Indian Subcontinent with Peter Rockwell (2015) and The Thief Who Stole My Coronary heart: The Product Lifestyle of Chola Bronzes from South India, c. 855–1280 (2021), centered on her A.W. Mellon lectures in 2016. 

The recipient of lots of prestigious nationwide and international awards, Dehejia obtained the Padma Bhushan Award in 2012 from the president of India for excellent contributions to artwork and schooling, a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship (2009–2012) and she was the 65th A.W. Mellon Lecturer in the Wonderful Arts at the Countrywide Gallery of Artwork in 2016.  

Gülru Necipoğlu

Necipoğlu attained her doctorate from Harvard College in 1986 and has served there as the Aga Khan Professor and Director of the Aga Khan System for Islamic Architecture given that 1993. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Wesleyan University and a Learn of Arts from Harvard University. Necipoğlu specializes in the arts and architecture of the pre-modern-day Islamic lands, with a aim on the Mediterranean environment and the cross-cultural and artistic exchanges between the Ottoman, Safavid and Mughal empires in the 16th and 17th hundreds of years. Grounded in rigorous archival analysis, her multi-disciplinary scientific studies have addressed the aesthetic interconnections of Byzantium and Renaissance Europe, pre-modern day architectural practices and the part and perform of ornament in the Islamic environment and beyond, supplying new and very authentic views on the arts and architecture of the area. In the course of her illustrious profession, Necipoğlu has also trained and mentored various pupils, who have continued to rework the industry. 

Because 1993, Necipoğlu has also served as editor of Muqarnas: An Yearly on the Visual Cultures of the Islamic Environment and its dietary supplements, the pre-eminent publication in the discipline, which has transformed the analyze of the arts and architecture of the Islamic planet. Her personal publications comprise reports in monumental architecture to intricate types on portable objects and have altered the being familiar with of the arts of the Islamic planet. They involve Architecture, Ceremonial and Energy: The Topkapı Palace (1991), The Topkapı Scroll–Geometry and Ornament in Islamic Architecture (1995), The Age of Sinan: Architectural Society in the Ottoman Empire (2005, 2011), Treasures of Information: An Stock of the Ottoman Palace Library (1502/3–1503/4) (2 vols, 2019, coeditors Cemal Kafadar and Cornell H. Fleischer), The Arts of Ornamental Geometry: A Persian Compendium on Similar and Complementary Interlocking Figures (2017), A Companion to Islamic Art and Architecture, in the Wiley-Blackwell Companions to Artwork Record (coeditor F. Barry Flood, 2017) and Histories of Ornament: From World wide to Regional (coeditor Alina Payne, 2016).

In recognition of her distinguished scholarly career, Necipoğlu is an elected member of the British Academy, the American Philosophical Modern society, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio in Vicenza, Italy.

Previous Recipients

Previous recipients of the Freer Medal are Rawson (2017 Chinese art) John Rosenfield (2012 East Asian art), James Cahill (2010 Chinese artwork), Oleg Grabar (2001 Islamic artwork), Sherman E. Lee (1998 Asian art), Alexander Soper (1990 Chinese artwork), Kramrisch (1985 South Asian artwork), Max Loehr (1983 Chinese artwork), Roman Ghirshman (1974 Ancient In close proximity to Japanese artwork), Laurence Sickman (1973 Japanese art), Tanaka Ichimatsu (1973 Japanese artwork), Yashiro Yukio (1965 Chinese and Japanese artwork), Ernst Kühnel (1960 Islamic art) and Osvald Sirén (1956 Chinese art). 

About Smithsonian’s Nationwide Museum of Asian Art 

The Smithsonian’s Nationwide Museum of Asian Art is fully commited to preserving, exhibiting, exploring and interpreting art in ways that deepen our collective comprehending of Asia and the world. Household to additional than 45,000 objects, the museum stewards a person of North America’s premier and most thorough collections of Asian art, with performs courting from antiquity to the current from China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, Southeast Asia and the Islamic environment. Its abundant holdings bring the arts of Asia into immediate dialogue with an important collection of 19th- and early 20th-century American operates, delivering an vital system for inventive collaboration and cultural trade amongst the United States, Asia and the Middle East. 

Commencing with a 1906 reward that paved the way for the museum’s opening in 1923, the Nationwide Museum of Asian Art is a leading useful resource for readers, students and scholars in the United States and internationally. Its galleries, laboratories, archives and library are found on the Countrywide Mall in Washington, D.C., and are part of the world’s biggest museum sophisticated, which normally studies more than 27 million visits each individual yr. The museum is cost-free and open to the community 364 days a yr (closed Dec. 25), generating its exhibitions, courses, studying possibilities and electronic initiatives obtainable to world-wide audiences.

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Maria Lewis

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