Sherman E. Lee (1918-2008), Cleveland Museum of Art director and curator of “Oriental” art, emerged as one of the most successful institutional collectors of Chinese painting in the 1950s and 1960s. During those postwar decades, Lee acquired over seventy-five paintings through a small network of private collectors and dealers, including the German expatriate Walter Hochstadter (1914-2007), from whom a majority of his early acquisitions flowed. Art historian Noelle Giuffrida investigates Lee’s complex relationship with Hochstadter to reveal an important chapter of the inner history of Chinese painting collecting in postwar America.
Professor Giuffrida is a specialist in East Asian art. Her main areas of research are the history of collecting and exhibiting Chinese art in twentieth-century America and the visual culture of Daoism in Ming and early Qing China. Her teaching interests also include Buddhist painting and sculpture; visual narratives in East Asian art; Chinese and Japanese painting; modern and contemporary Chinese and Japanese art; the historiography of Chinese painting scholarship; and the history of collecting and exhibiting Chinese and Japanese art in the United States, Great Britain, and Europe.