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The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art


Jeannie Kenmotsu was appointed The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Asian Art in 2020 and is responsible for the research, interpretation, and development of the Asian collections of the Museum, comprising nearly 6,000 works of art ranging from historical to contemporary. Dr. Kenmotsu joined the Portland Art Museum in 2017 as Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art and was promoted to Associate Curator in 2019.

At the Museum, Dr. Kenmotsu has organized the exhibitions Joryū Hanga Kyōkai, 1956–1965: Japan’s Women Printmakers and Objects of Contact: Encounters between Japan and the West (both 2020-21), Dramatic Impressions: Japanese Actor Prints (2019), Suzuki Harunobu and the Culture of Color (2018), and Craftsmanship and Wit (2017). She was also closely involved in all curatorial aspects of the special exhibition Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art: Selections from the Collection of Mary and Cheney Cowles (2018), serving as co-editor of the accompanying catalogue.

A specialist in Japanese art of the Edo period (1615–1868), Dr. Kenmotsu has written on color printing and illustrated books in the eighteenth century, including entries for the Gerhard Pulverer Collection at the Freer|Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution. Prior to joining the Portland Art Museum, Kenmotsu assisted with the major international loan exhibition of Japanese painting, Ink and Gold: Art of the Kano (2015) at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She also worked closely with the print collections at Philadelphia, and co-curated the loan exhibition A Sense of Place: Modern Japanese Prints (2015). She has also been a visiting assistant professor of Asian art history at Scripps College.

Dr. Kenmotsu is a graduate of Pomona College and earned her doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Japan Foundation, and Blakemore Foundation, among others. She is a Senior Fellow of the Society of Fellows in Critical Bibliography (Rare Book School, University of Virginia).

Jeannie Kenmotsu