Karen Gerhart

(PhD, University of Kansas), Associate Professor, premodern Japanese art

Room 235, Frick Fine Arts Building

Phone: 412-648-2194

E-mail: kgerhart@pitt.edu

Professor Gerhart’s research and teaching encompass a wide range of topics in the history of art and architecture in premodern Japan. Her current interests are in the relationship between art and social function, and art and ritual. Recent publications include The Eyes of Power: Art and Early Tokugawa Authority (1999) and articles on the influence of Chinese iconography, issues of patronage and travel, and the use of images in ritual context. She has presented numerous papers at professional meetings, including the Association of Asian Studies and the College Art Association. She teaches both undergraduate courses and topically organized graduate seminars; recent offerings include Japanese Landscape Painting, Portraits and Rituals in East Asia, and Ancient Japan.

Selected publications:

Visions of the Dead: Kano Tan'yu's Paintings of Tokugawa Iemitsu's Dreams,” Monumenta Nipponica vol. 59, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 1–34.

“Classical Imagery and Tokugawa Patronage: A Redefinition in the Seventeenth Century,” pp. 169–186. In Elizabeth Lillehoj, ed., Critical Perspectives on Classicism in Japanese Painting, 1600–1700. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2004.

"Talent, Training, and Power: The Kano Painting Workshop in the Seventeenth Century," pp. 9–30; 189–194. In Brenda Jordan and Victoria Weston, eds., Copying the Master and Stealing His Secrets: Talent and Training in Japanese Painting. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 2003.

"Kano Tan'yû: ryôhô no gakka," Bijutsu Forum 5 (Winter 2001): 33–39. [in Japanese]

"Issues of Talent and Training in the Seventeenth-Century Kano Workshop." Ars Orientalis (2001) 31: 103–128.

"Kano Tan'yû and Hôrin Jôshô: Patronage and Artistic Practice." Monumenta Nipponica 55 (Winter 2000) 4: 483–508.

The Eyes of Power: Art and Early Tokugawa Authority. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press, 1999.


Japan Foundation Research Fellowship

Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Art Studies Research Grant

Northeast-Asia Council Short-term Research Travel to Japan Grant

Current projects:

Gerhart is currently working on a book-length study that will reconstruct the death practices and associated visual culture developed for and by Japanese medieval elite, using a significant sampling of primary texts and surviving works of art and architecture dating primarily to the 14th and 15th centuries.