International art dealers, curators, legal experts and scholars Naman Ahuja, Kate Fitz Gibbon, Kurt A. Gitter, Arthur Houghton, James Lally, James McAndrew, Julian Raby and Marc Wilson discuss the contemporary environment for collecting ancient art. The discussion is moderated by Asia Society President Vishakha Desai and Asia Society Museum Director Melissa Chiu."
Naman P. Ahuja is Associate Professor of Ancient Indian Art and
Architecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi where his
research and graduate teaching focus on Indian iconography, sculpture,
temple architecture and Sultanate period painting. Previously he was a
Fellow at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, where he authored a catalogue of
the museum's collection of Ancient Indian antiquities. From 2001 to
2002 he was Curator of Indian sculpture in the Department of Oriental
Antiquities at the British Museum, London. He was lecturer of the MA
program on the Religious Fine and Decorative Arts of India at SOAS
(School of Oriental and African Studies, London University) from 1998 to
2000 and Tutor of the SOAS / Christie's and latterly the British
Museum's Diploma in Indian Art. Some of his publications include:
Divine Presence, The Arts of India and the Himalayas (Five continents
editions, Milan, 2003) which was translated into Catalan and Spanish,
â€œChanging Gods, Enduring Rituals: Observations on Early Indian Religion
as seen through Terracotta Imagery c. 200 BC - AD 200 - In South Asian
Archaeology, Paris, 2001, and, Ramkinkar Through the Eyes of Devi Prasad
Dr. Melissa Chiu
Dr. Melissa Chiu is Museum Director and Senior Vice President, Global Arts and Cultural Programs, Asia Society in New York responsible for overseeing the programming for museums in New York, Houston and Hong Kong. She was previously Founding Director of the Asia-Australia Arts Centre in Sydney (1996-2001).
As a leading authority on Asian contemporary art, she has organized nearly 30 exhibitions of artists from across Asia including a retrospective by Zhang Huan, a survey of Yoshitomo Nara, and an exhibition of art from China’s Cultural Revolution.
She earned a M.A. in Arts Administration (1994) and a PhD (2005) in Art History and is the author of numerous articles and books including Breakout: Chinese Art Outside China (2007), Chinese Contemporary Art: 7 Things You Should Know (2008), Asian Art Now (Monacelli Press, 2010, co-authored with Benjamin Genocchio) and an anthology Contemporary Art in Asia: A Critical Reader (MIT Press, 2011, co-edited with Benjamin Genocchio). She has served on numerous panels including Pew, Institute of Museum and Library Services and New York State Council on the Arts and currently serves on the board American Association of Museums, and Museums Association of New York.
Vishakha N. Desai
Vishakha Desai is president and CEO of Asia Society, a leading global organization committed to strengthening partnerships among the people, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the US. Desai sets the direction for the society’s diverse sets of programs, ranging from major US–Asia policy initiatives and national educational partnerships for global learning to groundbreaking art exhibitions and innovative Asian American performances. She has an international reputation for introducing contemporary Asian art in the US through critically acclaimed exhibitions and scholarly catalogues. Under her leadership, Asia Society has expanded the scope and scale of its activities, including opening new offices in India and Korea, the inauguration of a new center on US-China relations, and the development of new initiatives focusing on the environment, on Asian women leaders, and on partnerships among the next generation of exceptional leaders in Asia and the US.
Kate Fitz Gibbon
Kate Fitz Gibbon brings exceptional arts experience to the practice of law.Â Â Member of the Cultural Property Advisory Committee to Presidents Clinton and Bush. Editor and author of Who Owns the Past? Cultural Policy, Cultural Property and the Law, Rutgers Univ. Press, 2005, Native American Art and the Law, A Collector's Guide, ATADA Foundation, 2010 and seven books on Asian art.
Kurt A. Gitter
Kurt A. Gitter, M.D. has been an ophthalmic surgeon in private practice
in New Orleans, Louisiana since 1969. He has also been a Clinical
Professor of Ophthalmology at Louisiana State University since 1978, an
Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Tulane University since 1969 and
is a past president of the Macula Society. Dr. Gitter has previously
served on the Boards of Escalon Medical Corporation, Metro Mobile CTS,
Inc. and Akorn, Inc. Director since 1995.
One of America's prominent experts on Chinese art, James Lally has established a
gallery of fascinating ancient and recent ceramics, including pottery
vessels and figurines, plus bronzes, stone and wood art, and popular
A former senior special agent at the Department of Homeland Security focused on cultural property and currently an adviser to collectors.
Julian Raby was appointed director of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in March 2002.
A well-known scholar of Islamic art, Raby has a wide range of scholarly interests, from Byzantium to China, Late Antiquity to the Renaissance. As director of the Freer and Sackler galleries, he has championed such popular exhibitions as "Return of the Buddha: The Qingzhou Discoveries" (2004), "Style and Status: Imperial Costumes from Ottoman Turkey" (2005), "Hokusai" (2006), "Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries" (2007), "Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur" (2008) and "Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in The Moscow Kremlin" (2009).