Modern and contemporary Chinese art; the history of photography in China; creative flows between China and the world.
Dr Claire Roberts is an historian of Chinese art and a curator. She is Associate Professor, Art History and ARC Future Fellow in the School of Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. She has published widely on Chinese art and visual and material culture, and curated numerous exhibitions.
Claire is fluent in Mandarin and began her studies in Chinese at secondary school in Melbourne. She later studied at Beijing Languages Institute (1978-79) and the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (1979-81). She has a Bachelor of Arts, Combined Hons. (1983) and a Master of Arts (1987) from the University of Melbourne. She was Curator at the Museum of Chinese-Australian History, Melbourne (1986-88) and Senior Curator of Asian Arts at the Powerhouse Museum, Sydney (1988-2010). Claire's PhD undertaken in the Research School of Pacific and Asian History at ANU (2006), focussed on the work of scholar and brush-and-ink painter Huang Binhong (1865-1955). After completing her PhD she was a Post-doctoral Fellow with Geremie R Barmé's ARC Federation Fellowship (2007-9); Research Fellow, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University (2009-10); Coordinate Program Fellow, Harvard-Yenching Institute (2011); Senior Lecturer in Art History, University of Adelaide (2012-2014). Her current ARC Future Fellowship project focuses on the international context of modern and contemporary Chinese art.
Claire's book publications include: Yang Zhichao: Chinese Bible
(Sydney: Art Gallery of New South Wales & Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, 2015) Editor
Photography and China (London: Reaktion Books, 2013) Go Figure! Contemporary Chinese Portraiture
(Canberra: National Portrait Gallery, 2012)
Initiatives in Cross-cultural Exhibitions.
Museums and Cross-cultural Understanding. Papers from the Vth regional Assembly of the Asia-Pacific Region Organisation of the International Council of Museums.
Claire Roberts was Visiting Scholar, Fairbank Institute for Chinese Studies, Harvard University (2009-2010); History of Art Fellow, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C.(2003); Curatorial Fellow, Bunkacho (Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs) Fellow, Crafts Gallery, National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (1996); Curatorial Fellow, Shanghai Museum, Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Arts Administrators' Exchange (1989-90).
Education and training
The Australian National University 2006
University of Melbourne 1987
BA (Combined Honours),
University of Melbourne 1984
Cert. Chin Ptg, 1981
Awards and honors
Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities,
Dwight Final Examination Prize for Combined Honours, The University of Melbourne,
Wyselaskie Scholarship in Modern Languages, The University of Melbourne,
R. G. Wilson Scholarship in Chinese, Final Examination, The University of Melbourne,