Stanley Abe

Associate Professor of Art and Art History


  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley 1989

  • M.A., University of California at Berkeley 1984

  • B.A., University of California at Berkeley 1981


Stanley Abe has published on Chinese Buddhist art, contemporary Chinese art, Asian American art, Abstract Expressionism, and the collecting of Chinese sculpture. He is now writing a narrative account of how Chinese sculpture came into existence as a category of Fine Art during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.


Chinese art, theory & criticism

Abe, S. Ordinary Images. University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Abe, S. A Freer Stela Reconsidered. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Occasional Paper, 2002.

Abe, S. "General Munthe’s Sculpture Collection." Gifts. Ed. J Haakestad. Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseum, 2012. 42-47.

Abe, S. "The Modern Moment of Chinese Sculpture." Exhibiting Asian Art: Issues and Perspectives. National Museum of Korea; Friends of National Museum of Korea, 2011. 27–45-27–45.

Abe, S. "Rockefeller Home Decorating and Objects from China." Collecting China: The World, China, and a Short History of Collecting. Ed. V Rujivacharakul. University of Delaware Press, 2011. 107–23-107–23.

Abe, S. "Locating World Art." The Migrant’s Time: Rethinking Art History and Diaspora. Ed. S Mathur. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2011. 130-45.

Abe, S. "Collecting Chinese Sculpture: Paris, New York, Boston." Journeys East: Isabella Stewart Gardner and Asia. Ed. A Chong and N Murai. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2009. 432-442.

"China, The Buddha, and Modern Aestheticism." Re-Imagining Asia: A Thousand Years of Separation. Ed. S Merali. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2008. 124-133.

Abe, S. "From Stone to Sculpture: The Alchemy of the Modern." Treasures Rediscovered: Chinese Stone Sculpture from the Sackler Collections at Columbia University. Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, 2008. 7–16-7–16.

Abe, S. "To Avoid the Inscrutable: Abstract Expressionism and the "Oriental Mode"." Discrepant Abstraction. Ed. K Mercer. MIT Press, 2006. 52-73.

Abe, S. "Xu Bing de zhenshi de yishu 徐冰的真实的艺术 (The Genuine Art of Xu Bing)." Xu Bing – Yancao jihua 徐冰 – 烟草计划 (Xu Bing: Tobacco Project). Ed. WH 巫鸿. Beijing: Zhongguo Renmin daxue chubanshe, 2006. 106–114-106–114.

Abe, S. "Why Asia Now? Contemporary Asian Art and the Politics of Multiculturalism." Shades of Black: Assembling the 80s, A transatlantic dialogue on Afro-Asian arts in post-war Britain. Ed. DA Bailey, I Baucom, and S Boyce. Duke University Press, 2005. 109-114.


Abe, S. "Review of Robert Harrist, The Landscape of Words: Stone Inscriptions from Early and Medieval China." Journal of Asian Studies 70 (February 2011): 196–198-196–198. (Review)

Abe, S. "Review of Marsha Weidner, ed., Cultural Intersections in Late Imperial Chinese Buddhism." Journal of Asian Studies 61 (May 2002): 715-16. (Review)

Abe, S. "Review essay of Lukas Nickel, ed., Return of the Buddha: The Qingzhou Discoveries." Aribus Asiae 62 (2002): 293–99-293–99. (Review)

Abe, S. "Review of Stephen Little with Shawn Eichman, Taoism and the Arts of China." Journal of Chinese Religions 29 (2001): 332-34. (Review)

Stanley Abe, . "Provenance, Patronage, and Desire: Northern Wei Sculpture from Shaanxi Province." Ars Orientalis 31 (2001): 1-30. (Academic Article)

Stanley Abe, . "Tobacco Art: Xu Bing's Tobacco Project." Duke University Libraries 14.1 (October 2000): 3-7. (Academic Article)

Abe, SK. "Pulitzer foundation workshop." December 1, 2012. Full Text

Abe, SK. "Absence and the image." December 1, 2012. Full Text

Buddhist Sculpture In a New Light. Creator. (2002)


An exhibition of twenty-two works from the storage of the Freer Gallery, co-curated with Jan Stuart; some of the works were previously considered the masterpieces of the collection but have been relegated to storage; many others have never been exhibited

Fall 2017

Chinese Buddhist Art (ARTHIST 378.01)
Smith Wrhs A266, MW 10:05 AM-11:20 AM

Spring 2017

Topics in Art History (ARTHIST 790.01)
Smith Wrhs A290, W 10:05 AM-12:35 PM

Fall 2016

Chinese Art 1900 to Present (ARTHIST 295.01)
East Duke 204A, WF 10:05 AM-11:20 AM

Spring 2015

First-Year Seminar (Top) (ARTHIST 89S.01)
East Duke 204A, M 08:30 AM-10:30 AM
Chinese Buddhist Art (ARTHIST 378.01)
East Duke 108, MW 01:25 PM-02:40 PM

Fall 2014

First-Year Seminar (Top) (ARTHIST 89S.01)
East Duke 204A, Th 10:05 AM-12:05 PM

Spring 2014

First-Year Seminar (Top) (ARTHIST 89S.01)
East Duke 204A, Tu 08:30 AM-10:30 AM
Chinese Buddhist Art (ARTHIST 378.01)
East Duke 204A, MW 08:30 AM-09:45 AM