Museum of Fine Arts Boston (MFA) appoints Dr. Nancy Berliner as the Wu Tung Curator of Chinese Art

. August 11, 2012

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), has announced that Dr. Nancy Berliner has been appointed the Wu Tung Curator of Chinese Art at the Museum, effective October 26, 2012. Dr. Berliner comes to the MFA from the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), where she has been the curator of Chinese Art since 2000. Among her many accomplishments there was the conception and development of the landmark Yin Yu Tang House project, which brought a 200-year-old rural Chinese merchant home to the Peabody Essex Museum (2003). In addition, she curated at PEM the much-lauded exhibition Emperor’s Private Paradise, Treasures from the Forbidden City in 2010, which traveled from PEM to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Milwaukee Museum of Art.

“Nancy brings to the MFA a rich record of research, writing, and curatorial work that has sought to frame a broad definition of Chinese art and visual culture, including Chinese architecture, gardens, and furniture, as well as popular and vernacular cultures,” said Jane Portal, the Matsutaro Shoriki Chair, Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa at the MFA.

Dr. Berliner also serves as an interpretive advisor to the World Monuments Fund on the Forbidden City Qianlong Garden project. Before her tenure at PEM, she was the guest curator of Beyond the Screen, Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th Centuries at the MFA. Dr. Berliner is the author of The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City (Yale University Press, 2010); Yin Yu Tang, the Daily Life and Architecture of a Chinese House (Tuttle, 2003), selected as a Notable Book of 2003 by the New York Times Book Review Section; Friends of the House, Furniture of China’s Towns and Villages (Peabody Essex Museum, 1996); Beyond the Screen, Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th Centuries (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1996); and Chinese Folk Art: The Small Skills of Carving Insects (Little, Brown, 1987). She was co-author with Edward Cooke of Inspired by China: Contemporary Furnituremakers Explore Chinese Traditions, and was editor of Juanqinzhai in the Qianlong Garden.

A native of Boston, Dr. Berliner received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard University, and completed additional studies at the Central Academy of Art in Beijing. She is fluent in Chinese.

For more information, visit or call 617.267.9300. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.

Category: Museum News

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