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Clarissa von Spee

Chinese Art and Islamic Art

James and Donna Reid Curator of Chinese Art and Interim Curator of Islamic Art, Chair of Asian Art

Clarissa von Spee brings more than a decade of museum experience to the Cleveland Museum of Art. From 2008 until 2016, von Spee served as curator of the Chinese and Central Asian Collections, Department of Asia, at the British Museum in London. She organized exhibitions including The Printed Image in China from the 8th to the 21st Centuries (2010); Modern Chinese Ink Paintings (2012); and Gems of Chinese Painting: A Voyage along the Yangzi River (2014).

In 2013, von Spee became a Fellow of the Center of Visual Studies at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou. Previously, she was assistant professor at the Institute for East Asian Art History, Heidelberg University, and curator at the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst in Cologne.

Dr. von Spee received her PhD from Heidelberg University, having also studied in Taipei, Shanghai, and Paris. In 2016, she was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to conduct research on the art of the Jiangnan region of China. In 2019, she curated the exhibition Cai Guo-Qiang: Cuyahoga River Lightning, followed by China through the Magnifying Glass: Masterpieces in Miniature and Detail in 2022, and China’s Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta in 2023–24; all three were shown at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Recent publications include Wu Hufan: A Twentieth-Century Art Connoisseur in Shanghai (2008); The Printed Image in China from the 8th to the 21st Centuries (2010); Der Perfekte Pinsel: Chinesische Malerei 1300–1900 / The Perfect Brush: Chinese Painting 1300–1900 (2010); Modern Chinese Ink Painting: A Century of New Directions (2012); Modern Chinese Painting and Europe: New Perceptions, Artists Encounters, and the Formation of Collections, coedited with Michaela Pejčochová (2017); Cai Guo-Qiang: Cuyahoga River Lightning (2019); and China’s Southern Paradise: Treasures from the Lower Yangzi Delta.

Contact the Curator at: ChineseArt@clevelandart.org | TextilesandIslamicArt@clevelandart.org

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