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Dr Claire Roberts

Telephone +61 8 8313 3205
Position Senior Lecturer
Email claire.m.roberts@adelaide.edu.au
Fax +61 8 8313 4341
Building Napier Building
Floor/Room 3 16
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit Art History

To link to this page, please use the following URL:
http://www.adelaide.edu.au/directory/clairemargaret.roberts

Biography/ Background

Claire Roberts is an historian of Chinese art and a curator. She was a Coordinate Research Scholar at the Harvard-Yenching Institute, Harvard University (2011); Research Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute For Advanced Study and Visiting Scholar, Fairbank Institute for Chinese Studies, Harvard University (2009-2010); Research Fellow with Geremie R. Barme’s Federation Fellowship project  at the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University (2006-2009); Senior Curator of Asian Arts at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney (1988-2010; and Curator at the Museum of Chinese-Australian History, Melbourne (1986-1988).

Claire studied at the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute (1978-1979) and the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (1979-1981). She has a Bachelor of Arts (1983) and a Master of Arts (1987) from the University of Melbourne. Her PhD (2006), undertaken in the Research School of Pacific and Asian History at ANU, focussed on the work of scholar, art historian and modern brush-and-ink painter Huang Binhong (1865-1955). Claire has published widely on Chinese visual and material culture, and curated numerous exhibitions including Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture (2012), The Great Wall of China (2006), a collaborative project with the National Museum of China, Beijing; Earth, Spirit, Fire: Korean Masterpieces of the Choson Dynasty, a collaborative project with the National Museum of Korea (2000); Evolution & Revolution: Chinese Dress 1700s to Now (1997); and Post Mao Product: New Art From China (1992) exhibited at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Queensland Art Gallery. She was curatorial adviser, Chinese art, for the Asia-Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane (1993, 1996, 1999).

Awards & Achievements

Awards and grants

2015, ARC Future Fellowship, The University of Melbourne. Research project: "Reconfiguring the World: China. Art. Agency, 1900s to Now"

2011, Research Fellowship, Harvard-Yenching Institute, Coordinate Research Program, Harvard University. Research project: ‘Image-driven scholarship: The Hedda Hammer Morrison collection of China negatives in the Harvard-Yenching Library'.

2009-2010, Research Fellowship, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. Research project: Photography and China (Reaktion Books) and the Hedda Hammer Morrison China photographic archive at Harvard-Yenching Library for a forthcoming publication.

2009-2010, Visiting Scholar, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University.

2007-2009, Research Fellowship, Division of Pacific and Asian History, Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies, The Australian National University Fellowship with Australian Research Council Federation Fellow Professor Geremie R. Barmé's ‘Beijing Spectacle' research project.

2003, History of Art Fellow, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.

1996, Curatorial Fellow, Bunkacho (Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs) Fellow, Crafts Gallery, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo

1989-1990, Curatorial Fellow, Shanghai Museum, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Arts Administrators' Exchange, 1989-1990

Research Interests

Modern and contemporary Chinese art and visual culture

Chinese photography and the photography of China

The photographs of Hedda Hammer Morrison

The letters of Ian Fairweather

Artistic contact and dialogue between Australia and China

Publications

 

Books

Claire Roberts. Photography and China. London: Reaktion Books, 2013.

Claire Roberts. Friendship in Art: Fou Lei and Huang Binhong. Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2010.

Claire Roberts, ed. Other Histories: Guan Wei's Fable for a Contemporary World. Documentation of an Exhibition. Sydney: Wild Peony, Sydney, 2008.

 

Chapters in books

Claire Roberts, Jean-Francois Lanzarone and Sang Ye, ‘Climbing The Great Wall of China For Australia: Three Views', and Claire Roberts, ‘The Great Wall of China: Military Barrier and National Icon'. In 21st Century China: Views From Australia. Edited by Mary Farquhar. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009, pp. 182-190.

Claire Roberts. ‘Introduction'. In Other Histories: Guan Wei's Fable for a Contemporary World. Documentation of an Exhibition. Edited by Claire Roberts. Sydney: Wild Peony, 2008, pp. 14-17.

Claire Roberts. ‘Guan Wei: Artist as Storyteller'. In Other Histories: Guan Wei's Fable for a Contemporary World. Documentation of an Exhibition. Edited by Claire Roberts. Sydney: Wild Peony, 2008, pp. 50-57.

 

Catalogues

Claire Roberts, ed. Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture. Canberra:National Portrait Gallery and Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, 2012.

Claire Roberts and Geremie R. Barmé eds. The Great Wall of China. Sydney: Powerhouse Publishing, 2006.

 

Claire Roberts and Michael Brand. Earth, Spirit, Fire: Korean Masterpieces of the Chosôn Dynasty.

Sydney: Powerhouse Publishing, 2000.

 

Claire Roberts and Naoko Tomana eds. Contemporary Australian Craft. Tokyo: Yomiuri Shimbun, The Japan Association of Art Museums, 1999.

 

Claire Roberts and Huh Dong-hwa eds. Rapt in Colour: Korean Textiles and Costumes of the Chosôn

Dynasty. Sydney: Powerhouse Publishing, 1998.

 

Claire Roberts ed. Evolution & Revolution: Chinese Dress 1700s to Now. Sydney: Powerhouse

Publishing, 1997.

 

Claire Roberts. In Her View: The Photographs of Hedda Morrison in China and Sarawak 1933-67. Sydney: Powerhouse Publishing, 1993.

 

Claire Roberts. New Art from China:Post-Mao Product. Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales,

1992.

 

Journal articles

Claire Roberts. ‘The Empress Dowager’s Birthday: The Photographs of Cixi’s Long Life Without End’, Ars Orientalis 43 (forthcoming).

 

Claire Roberts. ‘China Bound: Hedda Hammer’ in Harvard Library Bulletin: The Fine Arts Library at 50, Fall 2013 (forthcoming).

 

Claire Roberts. ‘Tolerance: The World of Yang Fudong’, Humanities Research, Vol. XIX, No. 3 (2013): 135-153.

 

Claire Roberts. ‘Metal and Stone, Brush and Ink: Word as Source in the Art of Huang Binhong’, Portal Journal of Multidisciplinary International Studies,  Vol. 9, No. 3 (2012) http://epress.lib.uts.edu.au/journals/index.php/portal/article/view/2551

 

Claire Roberts. ‘Dedicated Art: Three Paintings by Huang Binhong in Sackler Gallery.’ Orientations: Arthur M. Sackler Gallery 25th Anniversary issue, Vol. 43, No. 7 (October 2012): 72-75.

Claire Roberts.‘Creating a "Document" of Chinese Contemporary Art: Uli Sigg in Conversation with Claire Roberts, Art & Australia, Vol. 50, no. 1 (Spring 2012), pp. 30-35.

Claire Roberts. ‘In-betweenness: The Art of Liu Xiao Xian', Art & Australia, Vol. 47, No. 2 (Summer 2009), pp.222-225.

Claire Roberts. ‘Something to Smile About in Beijing', Art Monthly Australia 204 (October 2007), pp. 36-40.

Claire Roberts. ‘Contemporary Art Meets Contemporary Life: The New Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation', Art & Australia, Vol. 45, No. 1 (Spring 2007), pp.38-40.

Claire Roberts. ‘Preserving National Culture? Huang Binhong and the Cathay Art Union', Journal of The Asian Arts Society of Australia 16 no. 3 (September 2007), pp.14-15.

Claire Roberts. ‘The Slow Art of Ah Xian’, Art & Australia 43 (2006), pp.390-397.

 

Claire Roberts. ‘Chen Haiyan: Dream Works’, Art Asia-Pacific 36 (2002), pp. 46-53.

 

Claire Roberts. ‘The Art of Wang Zhiyuan: A State of Flux’, Art Asia-Pacific 33 (2002), pp. 68-75.

 

Claire Roberts. ‘Hedda Morrison’s Jehol’, East Asian History 22 (December 2001), pp. 1-128.

 

Claire Roberts. ‘Hedda Morrison’s Jehol’, East Asian History 22 (December 2001), pp. 1-128.

 

Claire Roberts. ‘Fishes and Dragons: Ah Xian’s ‘China.China’ series’, Art Asia-Pacific 26 (2000),

pp. 54-59.

 

Claire Roberts. ‘What Goes Around Comes Around: The Art of Guan Wei’, Art Asia-Pacific 21 (1999), pp 58-65.

 

Claire Roberts. ‘Tradition and Modernity: The Life and Art of Pan Tianshou (1897-1971)’, East Asian History 15/16 (June/December 1998), pp. 67-96.

 

Claire Roberts. ‘In Her View: Hedda Morrison's photographs of Peking 1933-46’, East Asian History, Australian National University 4 (1992), pp. 81-104.

 

Catalogue essays

Claire Roberts. ‘Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture'. In Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture. Edited by Claire Roberts. Canberra:National Portrait Gallery, 2012, pp. 10-35.

Claire Roberts. ‘Beauty and Cruelty'. In Yang Fudong: No Snow on the Broken Bridge. Sydney: Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, 2011, pp. 15-28.

Claire Roberts. ‘Gene Sherman on Japanese Fashion'. In Contemporary Japanese Fashion: The Gene Sherman Collection. Lake Macquarie: Lake Macquarie City Art Gallery in association with Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation and the Powerhouse Museum, 2011, pp. 38-41.

Claire Roberts. ‘Refraction: The Art of Liu Xiao Xian'. In Liu Xiao Xian: From East to West. Melbourne: RMIT Gallery, 2009, pp. 3-8.

Claire Roberts. ‘Between Heaven and Earth: Xu Bing, the Academy and Contemporary Chinese Art'. In The China Project. Three Decades: the Contemporary Chinese Collection. Brisbane: Queensland Art Gallery, 2009, pp.48-55.

Claire Roberts. ‘Guan Wei: Flight Mode'. In Handle With Care: 2008 Adelaide Biennale of Australian Art. Adelaide: Art Gallery of South Australia, 2008, pp. 64-65.

Claire Roberts. ‘Ian Fairweather'. In The Art of the Collection. Melbourne: Miegunyah Press in association with the State Library of Victoria, 2007, p. 145.

 

Translations

Claire Roberts, trans. Guan Wei, ‘Other Histories: Origin and Creative Lessons'. In Other Histories: Guan Wei's Fable for a Contemporary World. Documentation of an Exhibition. Edited by Claire Roberts. Sydney: Wild Peony, 2008, pp. 22-27

Claire Roberts, trans. Xu Hong, ‘Dialogue: The Awakening of Women's Consciousness’, Art Asia Pacific, vol. 2, no. 2 (1995), pp 44- 51.

 

Claire Roberts, trans. Xu Hong, ‘Spotting the Leopard: Seeking truth from history. Trends in recent Chinese art’, Art Asia Pacific vol. 1 no. 2 (1994).

 

Encyclopaedia entries

‘China: Photography’. Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online (forthcoming).

‘Ah Xian'. Grove Art Online: Australian Art. Oxford Art Online, 2009. http://www.oxfordartonline.com

‘Guan Wei'. Grove Art Online: Australian Art. Oxford Art Online, 2009. http://www.oxfordartonline.com

‘Huang Binhong'. Gale Encyclopaedia of Modern China. Edited by David Pong. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2009.

‘Pan Tianshou'. Gale Encyclopaedia of Modern China. Edited by David Pong. Detroit: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2009.

‘Hou Bo’. In Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Women – Volume 11: The Twentieth Century. Edited

by Lily Xiao Hong Lee and A. D.Stefanowska, M E Sharpe, 2002, pp. 215-218.

 

Web essays

‘Quick Time: On Beijing, Spring Festival and the Photographs of Hedda Hammer Morrison'. Trans-Asia Photography Review. Spring 2012 http://quod.lib.umich.edu/t/tap/7977573.0002.206?rgn=main;view=fulltext

‘No Snow on the Broken Bridge: An interview with Yang Fudong'. China Heritage Quarterly 28 (December 2011). http://www.chinaheritagequarterly.org/features.php?searchterm=028_snow.inc&issue=028

‘Me and Myself Studio, Hangzhou'. China Heritage Quarterly, 28 (December 2011). http://www.chinaheritagequarterly.org/features.php?searchterm=028_erwo.inc&issue=028

‘Dr George E. Morrison's Studio and Library'. China Heritage Quarterly 13 (March 2008). http://www.chinaheritagenewsletter.org/

‘Questions of Authenticity: Huang Binhong and the Palace Museum'. China Heritage Quarterly 10 (June 2007). http://www.chinaheritagenewsletter.org/scholarship.php?searchterm=010_HBH-Palace.inc&issue=010

‘Hedda Morrison's China'. China Heritage Quarterly 8 (December 2006) http://www.chinaheritagequarterly.org/scholarship.php?searchterm=008_hedda.inc&issue=008

 

Reviews

‘China: Portrait of a Country by 88 Chinese Photographers'. Book review by Claire Roberts. Trans-Asia Photography Review 1 no.1 (Fall 2010_. http://asianphotos.hampshire.edu/index.html

 

Conference papers and lectures

‘Chinese Imperial Portrait Photography: Reconciling Heaven and Earth'. International refereed conference: Imperial Exposure: Early Photography and Royal Portraits Across Asia, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., 5-6 December 2011.

‘Metal and Stone; Brush and Ink: Text as Source in the Art of Huang Binhong'. Refereed conference: Word and Image, East and West, University of Sydney, 28-29 October 2011.

‘Tolerance: The World of Yang Fudong'. International refereed conference: The World and World-Making in Art: Connectivities and Differences, Humanities Research Centre, The Australian National University, Canberra, 11-13 August 2011.

‘China Exposed: Hedda Hammer Morrison at Harvard': Refereed conference: Chinese Studies Association of Australia, Australian National University, Canberra, 15 July 2011.

‘China Exposed: Hedda Hammer Morrison at Harvard'. International refereed conference: Visualising Asia in the Modern World: A Conference on Image-driven Scholarship, Harvard University, Cambridge, 20 May 2011.

‘Asylum: The Photographs of Lü Nan'. International refereed conference: Just Images: Ethics and Chinese Documentaries, Harvard University, Cambridge, 30 April, 2011.

‘Friendship in Art: Some Thoughts on Fou Lei and Lin Fengmian'. International refereed conference: 110th Anniversary of the Birth of Lin Fengmian, China Academy of Fine Arts, Hangzhou, 22 November 2010.

‘The Opening Door: Contemporary Chinese Art Since 1978'. Invited speaker: Australian Davos Connection ADC Leadership Retreat, Hayman Island, 27 August 2010.

‘Photography and China: Transmitting Spirit'. International refereed conference: Facing Asia: Histories and Legacies of Asian Studio Photography, The Australian National University, Canberra, 21 August 2010.

‘Photography and China': Fellows Public Lecture, Radcliffe Institute for AdvancedStudy, Harvard University, Cambridge, 24 March 2010.

‘Photography and China: Transmitting Spirit'. Invited speaker: Asian Studies Symposium, University of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, 17 March 2010.

‘Photographing History? Hedda Morrison's Peking'. Invited speaker: Modern Chinese History Seminar, Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, Harvard University, Cambridge, 2 October, 2009.

‘The Rise of Contemporary Chinese Art'. Invited speaker: Melbourne Festival of Ideas, University of Melbourne, 19 June 2009.

‘Is Chinese Modern Art the Greatest Movement Since Cubism?. Invited speaker: The Australian National University School of Art, Canberra, 23 October 2008.

‘History Beyond the Page: Analysing Visual Sources'. Invited speaker: History Postgraduate Workshop, The Australian National University, Canberra, 18 September 2008.

‘Accumulated Ink: The Landscape Paintings of Huang Binhong and Li Keran'. International refereed conference: The Art of Li Keran and Twentieth-century Chinese Art, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, 5-6 November, 2007.

‘The Great Wall of China: An Exhibition'. International referred conference, ‘Trans-national Museum Collaboration', International Council of Museums (ICOM) United Kingdom and ICOM Shanghai, Fudan University, Shanghai, 25-27 June 2007.

‘Other Histories: Guan Wei's Fable for a Contemporary World'. International referred conference, Art and Re-enactment, Humanities Research Centre, The Australian National University, Canberra, 5-7 June 2007.

 

Conference proceedings

Claire Roberts. ‘Initiatives in Cross-cultural Exhibitions’. In Museums and Cross-cultural Understanding. Papers from the Vth regional assembly of the Asia-Pacific region organisation of the International Council of Museums. Edited by A Galla, B Murphy. Australian National Committee of the National Council of Museums, 1993, pp 33-36.

 

Conference organisation

‘Public + Private. Contemporary Chinese Art: A Portrait of the Times'. The Australian National University Centre on China in the World, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, and Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney, at the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, 13 September 2012

‘Art and Nation: Chinese Art, 1949 to Now'. The Australian National University Centre on China in the World and the National Museum of Australia, at the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, 19 November 2011.

‘Seeing China: Visual constructions of the Chinese world, Perspectives from Australia'. Academic workshop: The Australian National University Centre on China in the World, Canberra, 18 November 2011

 

Media articles 

Claire Roberts, ‘More than Just Face Value’. Financial Times, Life & Arts, 1-2 September 2012, p. 13.

Professional Associations

Claire is currently on the editorial board of Art Monthly Australia, and on the advisory boards of Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney, and the University Art Gallery at the University of Sydney. She was council member and Deputy Chair of the Australia-China Council, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra (2006-2009) and committee member of the Committee on Taxation Incentives for the Arts, Department of Communications and the Arts, Canberra (1995-2000).

Community Engagement

Curated major public exhibitions (recent)

Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture. Australian National Portrait Gallery,Canberra and Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, Sydney, 2012-2013.

The Great Wall of China. Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Melbourne Museum, 2006-2007.

Other Histories: Guan Wei's Fable for a Contemporary World. Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, 2006-2007.

 

Entry last updated: Sunday, 1 Feb 2015

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