The New Curator of Chinese Art: Clarissa von Spee

The Cleveland Museum of Art has exciting news this week as it announced the appointment of Clarissa von Spee as Curator of Chinese Art and Head of the Department of Asian Art. The museum’s renowned collection of Chinese art, ranging from the Neolithic period to the early 21st century, is distinguished by the quality and rarity of each object. Von Spee’s appointment follows an international search, and all at the museum are excited for her to assume her responsibilities this September.

Clarissa von Spee hold a PhD from Heidelberg University and brings more than a decade of curatorial work and museum experience to the CMA. Since early 2008, she has served as Curator of the Chinese and Central Asian collections, Department of Asia, at the British Museum in London. In addition to her curatorial expertise, von Spee also has spent a great amount of time working with objects, as well as in teaching and scholarly research. 

As Curator of Chinese Art, von Spee will oversee the care and development of the collection, and work closely with the Director and Chief Curator on the identification and acquisition of works of art. CMA’s collection of Chinese art spans more than 5,000 years and encompasses a variety of art forms, including archaic bronzes, jades, sculpture, paintings, calligraphy, ceramics, furniture and the decorative arts. It represents China’s artistic traditions in considerable depth, with particular strengths in ceramics, Buddhist sculpture, and painting. Von Spee will also be responsible for the rotating installation of the Chinese art galleries and overseeing special exhibitions that explore all aspects of Chinese art. Additionally, she will develop interpretive and didactic materials to help visitors deepen their understanding of Chinese art and culture.

Guest Author

Christopher Moore

The Cleveland Museum of Art

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