Noelle Giuffrida

Assistant Professor

Mather House 302

Other Information

Degree: Ph.D. University of Kansas, 2008
M.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison
B.A. Vassar College


Professor Giuffrida is a specialist in Chinese 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 areas include: the history of collecting and exhibiting Chinese art; Daoist visual culture; the historiography of Chinese painting scholarship; Buddhist material culture of Asia; Chinese and Japanese painting; and East Asian visual narratives.


Prof. Giuffrida’s book Separating Sheep from Goats: Sherman E. Lee and Chinese Art Collecting in Postwar America (University of California Press, forthcoming March 2018) uses American curator and museum director Sherman E. Lee (1918–2008) as a lens through which to investigate the history of collecting and exhibiting Chinese art. Giuffrida’s study excavates an international society of collectors, dealers, curators, and scholars who comprised the art world of the 1930s through the 1980s. Her book evaluates contemporaneous transcultural efforts to collect and present Chinese art by multiple institutions, while also scrutinizing scholarly and museological discourses of the time, thereby contributing to the historiography of both Chinese art and American museums. Giuffrida’s research into the postwar decades, when the United States blossomed as an international hub for Chinese painting, demonstrates that this critical, yet largely neglected, era is essential for understanding the history of Chinese art beyond its country of origin.


Prof. Giuffrida has published on both the history of collecting and exhibiting Chinese painting and the visual culture of Daoism. Her articles and book chapters include: “Paintings, Politesse, and Petromania: Sherman E. Lee and of the Art and Archaeology Delegation Trip to China in 1973” (2013); “The Right Stuff:  Chinese Art Treasures’ Landing in Early 1960s America” The Reception of Chinese Art Across Cultures (2014); “Transcendence, Thunder, and Exorcism: Images of the Daoist Patriarch Zhang Daoling in Paintings and Prints” On Telling Images of China: Essays on Narrative and Figure Painting (2013); and “Ming Imperial Patronage of the Wudang Mountains and the Daoist God Zhenwu” Royal Taste: The Art of Princely Courts in 15th Century China (2015).


Prior to joining the department at CWRU, Prof. Giuffrida taught at Vassar College. She also served as a curatorial researcher and museum educator at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has received several awards and her research has been supported a number of sources including The Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation and the American Oriental Society. She has been invited to present her research at national and international conferences including the Association for Asian Studies, College Art Association, and International Daoist Studies.





Download / View CV