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BAM/PFA Appoints Senior Curator for Asian Art (June 9, 2006)

Berkeley, CA, June 9, 2006-The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is pleased to announce that Julia White has been appointed Senior Curator for Asian Art. White comes to BAM/PFA from the Honolulu Academy of Arts where she has been Curator of Asian Art since 1996. She will begin at BAM/PFA on September 1, 2006.

White has extensive experience as a curator, having organized exhibitions at the Honolulu Academy of Arts, and prior to that, at the Denver Museum where she was Associate Curator, Asian Art from 1989 to 1995. In both institutions she played a significant role in the redesign and reinstallation of major collections of Asian art. In addition, White served as Adjunct Associate Professor in Fine Arts at the University of Denver. She has received numerous awards including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tokyo National Research Institute, and the Asian Cultural Council.

"We are delighted that Julia, who is widely recognized and respected as an authority by the international community of Asian art professionals, collectors, and supporters, will be joining us at BAM/PFA," says Kevin E. Consey, Director. "Her history of innovative exhibitions and scholarly projects will be an important asset to both our museum and the University of California, Berkeley campus. We look forward to Julia's work with our collections of Chinese, Japanese, and Indian paintings, and the contributions she will make in planning the Asian art program for our new building, including mounting an assertive acquisitions campaign."

"I am very pleased to have the opportunity to work with the exceptional Asian art collections of the Berkeley Art Museum," says Julia White. "In the late 70's, as a graduate student in art history at the University of California, Berkeley, I had a part-time job at the art museum working with the Chinese painting collection. Working at BAM proved to be a pivotal point in my studies and led me to choose a professional museum career. I sense that BAM/PFA is on the brink of a very fast moving, exciting and important time in its history as it looks to a future of collection development, building design, and increased programming in all areas. I am delighted to be appointed Senior Curator of Asian Art and be allowed to play a part on a team that will work to build Cal's preeminence in the arts."

Exhibitions that White organized for the Honolulu Academy of Arts include the unprecedented exhibition of National Treasures and Important Cultural Properties from Japan that were shown in the 2002 exhibition Sacred Treasures from Mount Koya: The Art of Japanese Shingon Buddhism and the 2005 exhibition Masterpieces of Chinese Lacquer from the Mike Healy Collection, which was accompanied by a scholarly catalogue. White also organized and coordinated the traveling exhibition Taisho Chic: Japanese Modernity, Nostalgia, and Deco working with guest curator and U.C. Berkeley graduate Ken Brown. She coordinated numerous traveling exhibitions in Honolulu including From the Fire: A Survey of Contemporary Korean Ceramics, organized by International Arts and Artists; Yakimono: 4000 Years of Japanese Ceramics, jointly organized by the Bunkacho (Japan's Agency for Cultural Affairs) and the HAA.

At the Denver Art Museum she organized exhibitions including Adornment for Eternity: Status and Rank in Chinese Ornament, which toured both nationally and internationally; Pathways to the Afterlife: Early Chinese Art from the Sze Hong Collection; and Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Pamela R. Lessing Friedman Collection. In addition to organizing exhibitions, White has written and contributed to a wide range of publications and catalogues.

White received her Masters degree in Art History from UC Berkeley in 1983, and also spent a number of years studying Chinese language at Taiwan National Normal University and conducting graduate research at Beijing University. She also earned a Masters of Library and Information Science at UC Berkeley. As a graduate student, White studied with renowned Asian art historian Professor Emeritus James Cahill, part of whose acclaimed collection of Chinese painting is now held at BAM/PFA.