Born in Brooklyn and raised in New Rochelle, NY, I hold an M.A. in Asian art history and a Ph.D. in Japanese art history from the University of Kansas. I have been working throughout the USA and Canada as an independent appraiser of Asian art since 1993. Clients include private collectors, attorneys, insurance companies, auction houses, and museums. Please note that although I am based in Lawrence, KS, where I have access to the world-class academic research library of the University of Kansas and the extensive reference library and famed Asian art collection of the nearby Nelson-Atkins Museum where I formerly worked, I travel extensively to see collections. Because of my family ties to New York and my regular visits there to Asian art and appraiser organization events I spend a lot of time in NY, and so clients in the NY area generally do not incur any travel expenses.
I started my appraisal business after years of professional experience as an expert in Asian art, working in art museums and universities, and following prolonged periods of research and travel in Japan. Since 2002, I have been a member of the Appraisers Association of America (AAA), admitted then as qualified to appraise artworks in a wide variety of Asian art categories including East Asian art (Chinese, Japanese, and Korean arts), SE Asian, Indian, and Himalayan fine arts and crafts. I successfully completed a 15-hour course and examination on the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), the Congressionally-recognized set of appraisal standards in October 2008 and completed 7-hour USPAP update courses in September 2011 and January 2013. In 2009, the Appraisers Association of America elevated my member status to CERTIFIED MEMBER, after I passed certification exams in Chinese art and Japanese & Korean arts, as well as an exam on Appraisal Theory and Methodology. I strive to keep current with changes to USPAP and other issues concerning the appraising profession, and current IRS tax laws, by subscribing to newsletters for my profession and regularly attending annual meetings of the Appraisers Association of America and Continuing Education Programs on Art Law at the New York University Law School. My approach to appraising and all my written reports meet the ethical mandates of the Appraisers Association of America (AAA) and conform in substance to guidelines established by USPAP.
Complementing my appraising business, I lecture about Japanese culture, art, and Chinese influences on Japanese culture, at museums, universities, professional organizations, scholarly symposia, and businesses throughout the United States and internationally. I also occasionally work with private individuals who need advice on planning trips to Japan and lead cultural tours for small groups of adults and university students in two areas of my interest and expertise:
- Art, architecture, and design, past and present
- Sustainability in Japan, with emphasis on how the society simultaneously draws on its past cultural achievements to prepare for the future
As a scholar, I have been the recipient of various fellowships including those from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, the Asian Cultural Council (a Rockefeller Brothers Fund), the Fulbright Program, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. My scholarly research focuses mainly on Japanese art, but I began my graduate school studies in Asian art with an emphasis on Chinese art history and studied Chinese language prior to learning Japanese. My ongoing scholarly research focuses on Japanese art, aesthetics, and design from the 17th century to the present, and the connoisseurship and collecting of Chinese and Korean art in Japan. My publications include essays in museum catalogues, encyclopedias, multi-authored scholarly books, scholarly journals, and two books: Tea of the Sages, the Art of Sencha (1998) and Faith and Power in Japanese Buddhist Art: 1600-2005 (2007), both on subjects not previously addressed in non-Japanese literature. I am currently writing a new book, Design in Japanese Art: Culture, Craft, and Aesthetics, to be published by Tuttle in 2014.