1.Short Biography

1. Short Biography
(written for Howard Rogers to use in writing his essay; to be read in conjunction with Short c.v.)

Born Fort Bragg, CA (lumber town on Mendocino coast, 3,500 people); parents divorced when I was two, lived with a succession of relatives and others, all within California: divorce judge ruled that my parents should have divided say on me, each a half-year, so long as neither took me out of California. Father retired (from YMCA and other physical education jobs), living in various places, I would join him. In high school years he was, fortunately, in Berkeley, I went to Bky High School; graduated 1943, entered Univ. of Calif., Berkeley. Studying English; but draft facing me: studied Japanese to go to Army Japanese Language School (Ann Arbor Mich., not yet Monterey), 1943-45. 1946: to Japan, then Korea, for occupation; returned to Berkeley 1948, entered Oriental Languages program (to use the language training I’d had in army.) Fortunately, great people there: Peter Boodberg, Edward Schafer, Ch’en Shih-hsiang. Crucial period of my life. Graduated 1950; to Wash. D.C. with Hackney Scholarship for Chinese painting, one year there, working with Wenley & Pope etc. Married Dorothy Dunlap 1951. More or less automatically went to AA, U. Mich., since Freer had that relationship with it (got UM credit for working at Freer.) By great good luck again (the whole thing was essentially luck: I’m not sure I ever made a conscious decision during this period), Max Loehr arrived just as I did. Studied with him 1951-53, then to Met as museum fellowship student for a year, there met & learned from C.C.Wang, as well as Alan Priest, Aschwin Lippe. Fulbright year in Japan: fall 1954-spring 1956, studying with Shimada. To Europe, to work with Siren; around Europe, seeing collections etc. Back to Freer 1956; got Ph.D 1958, joined Freer staff as Curator of Chinese Art. (Skira came while I was still working on doctoral dissertation, asked me to write Chinese Painting book.) Dissertation was indeed on Wu Chen, but long first part was first attempt to put together coherent account of wen-jen-hua theory. (Never published, but much used, copies in graduate programs; Susan Bush redid it, expanded, refined, while depending heavily on my stuff.) 1958: took part in conference on Confucianism (had got to know Dave Nivison during Fulbright year in Kyoto, he arranged invitation), Aspen Colorado, gave Confucian Elements paper. Got to know great people: Joe Levenson (I already knew him), John Fairbank, Arthur Wright, Ben Schwartz, Twitchett, de Bary, the whole bunch. Another turning point.

Moved to U.C.Berkeley 1965. (So Freer curatorship 1958-1965.) Photographing project in Taiwan, Chinese Art Treasures exhib., etc.: see my essay on me & Nat’l Palace Mus., *CLP 117, told in great detail there, with dates.

Nick and Sarah born while still in D.C.: Nick 1958, Sarah 1960.

Active in College Art Assn., 1970s-80s; on Board of Directors, then Executive Board; was in line to become president, but dropped off (they really wanted me, believing, wrongly, that I would be a good administrator & leader) because too much involved in China, in events that preceded marriage with Hsingyuan Tsao in 1988. I have sometimes said, jokingly, that during the 1960s-70s I represented art history on the China committees (notably Committee on Studies of Chinese Civilization under the ACLS), then in 70s-80s represented China—or Asia, or the non-West—on art history committees: CAA, the Getty Publications Committee, the National Committee for the History of Art (where I was able to persuade them to hold one International Conference that included Asianists—didn’t last, French & others pushed it back into former pattern, Europe & U.S. only. ) Yes, I did a lot in this period to open art-history organizations & programs to China and Japan, or the non-West.

1973: month in China with Ch Archaeology Delegation led by Sherman Lee (Larry Sickman & others along); 1977, led (as Chairman) follow-up Chinese Old Ptgs delegation for another month. You remember the evenings of slide-shows at our house in Berkeley after those, the letters home from the first trip (which you & others printed up); From this time on my attention shifted to China, and to lecturing at art academies etc., trying to acquaint them with outside art history, etc. Met Hsing 1986; married 1988. Rest as in Short c.v.

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