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Ackland Art Museum Appoints First Curator of Asian Art

CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina ― The Ackland Art Museum at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill today announced the appointment of Bradley M. Bailey as its new associate curator of Asian art. With a broad background in Asian art, Bailey is a specialist in the art of Japan, focusing on the Meiji period (1868-1912) and artistic relations between Japan and the West. He is currently the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Post-doctoral Curatorial and Teaching Fellow in Japanese Prints at the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College.

baileyAs the Ackland’s first full-time curator of Asian art, Bailey will oversee the Museum’s Asian art collection, developing a vibrant exhibition program, building on the Museum’s holdings with new acquisitions, conducting and facilitating scholarly research and publication, and activating the collection through curricular teaching and public outreach. Bailey will begin work at the Ackland on 2 November 2015.

“Bradley is one of the most creative, engaging, and ambitious curators of his emerging generation,” said Peter Nisbet, chief curator and interim director. “I am delighted that he will be joining our team as we continue to find new ways to use and enliven our uniquely important collection of Asian art.”

In addition to his undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral work at Yale University (PhD expected December 2015), Bailey also has an MBA from the Yale University School of Management (2010). Bailey has curated exhibitions on Japanese, American, and contemporary art at the Mead, the Yale University Art Gallery, and Recession Art in New York. In addition, he served as the Hilla Rebay Graduate Fellow in the Department of Institutional Development at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York. His publications include essays on Hokusai, on the collectors Herbert and Dorothy Vogel, and on prints from the Sino-Japanese War of 1895.

“During our international search, Bradley quickly stood out as an imaginative and energetic scholar, exhibition-maker, and object-based teacher,” said Nisbet. “His experience, his ability to link Asian art to the art of other traditions, and his network of connections are the ideal combination for the Ackland, as we work to enhance the potential and relevance of all collection areas for our campus community, as well as for our regional, national and international audiences. I join my Museum and University colleagues in looking forward to welcoming him this fall.”

Since the Ackland’s founding in 1958, its Asian art collection has grown in significance and quality. From 1983 to 2008, the Ackland acquired and presented Asian art under the guidance of renowned Asian art connoisseur Sherman E. Lee, who spent his retirement years in Chapel Hill after a distinguished curatorial and academic career in Detroit, Seattle, and Cleveland. The only Asian collection in North Carolina, the Ackland’s is also one of the strongest in the Southeastern United States, encompassing more than 1,200 works dating from 2,500 BCE to the present, including primarily works from Japan, China, and South and Southeast Asia. The collection’s resonance is enhanced by active teaching and research at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, by scholars in art history and in Asian Studies.

The Ackland Art Museum is located on the historic campus of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The Ackland’s holdings consist of more than 17,000 works of art from all great periods and cultures, featuring significant collections of European masterworks, twentieth-century and contemporary art, African art, North Carolina pottery, folk art, and works on paper (drawings, prints, and photographs), as well as Asian art. As an academic unit of the University, the Ackland serves broad local, state, and national constituencies.

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