a passion for asia the rockefeller legacy

A Passion for Asia: A Rockefeller Legacy

by Adriana Proser



This fascinating publication, coinciding with the opening of an Asia Society exhibition of the same name, features significant Asian works of art from the Asia Society collection. In 1955, John D. Rockefeller III convened a committee to respond to post-World War II interest in developing improved understanding of, and relations with, countries in Asia. His family’s long-standing interest in Asia had led him to travel in China and Japan after he graduated from university in 1929. The Rockefellers’ deeply felt ‘passion for Asia’ led to the founding of the Asia Society in 1956. With the celebration of the Society’s fiftieth anniversary, the need for better understanding of Asian cultures – political, economic, and artistic – is more urgent than ever. This beautifully produced volume reflects in photographs and words the many-sided mission of the Asia Society. Fascinating archival photographs bring the Rockefeller family’s travels, philanthropic activities, social occasions, and wonderful domestic interiors to life. Important objects – sculptures, paintings, prints, screens, ceramics – all collected by members of the family, many from the Society’s collection and others from Museums around the country, are reproduced in full colour. The text includes essays by Rockefeller family members; former Asia Society presidents; Peter Johnson, the family historian; Cynthia Altman, curator of Kykuit, the Rockefeller family estate. (Asia Society, 2006, HC, 208pp) More information on previous exhibition

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About the Author

Adriana Proser

Adriana Proser


Adriana Proser is John H. Foster Curator of Traditional Asian Art. A specialist in Chinese art, over the last sixteen years she has organized and co-organized over forty-five exhibitions featuring diverse works from all over Asia. These include the upcoming loan exhibition The Art of Impermanence: Japanese Works from the John C. Weber Collection and the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection and the exhibitions Secrets of the Sea: A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in China (2017) and Philippine Gold: Treasures of Forgotten Kingdoms (2016) for Asia Society Museum. Her publications include Treasures of Asian Art: The Asia Society Museum Collections with Denise Leidy and Michelle Yun (Asia Society Museum and Delmonico, Prestel, 2016) ) and Pilgrimage and Buddhist Art (Asia Society Museum and Yale University Press, 2010), for which she served as editor and contributor. She is recipient of a Ph.D. in Chinese art and archaeology from Columbia University. Proser was formerly Assistant Curator of East Asian Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

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