Stanley Abe

Stanley Abe

Associate Professor of Art and Art History

External address: 
114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Smith Warehouse Bay 9, Room A289, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Box 90766, Durham, NC 27708-0766
(919) 684-2487
Office Hours: 
Friday 2:00–3:00 and by appointment


Stanley Abe has published on Chinese Buddhist art, contemporary Chinese art, Asian American art, Abstract Expressionism, and the collecting of Chinese sculpture. He is now writing a narrative account of how Chinese sculpture came into existence as a category of Fine Art during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley 1989

  • M.A., University of California at Berkeley 1984

  • B.A., University of California at Berkeley 1981

Abe, S. Ordinary Images. University of Chicago Press, 2002.

Abe, S. A Freer Stela Reconsidered. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Occasional Paper, 2002.

Abe, S, and Elsner, J. "Introduction: Some Stakes of Comparativism." Comparativism in Art History. Ed. J Elsner. London: Routledge, 2017. 1-15. (Introduction)

Abe, S. "Sculpture: A Comparative History." Comparativism in Art History. Ed. J Elsner. Routledge, 2017. 94-108. (Chapter)

Abe, S. "General Munthe’s Sculpture Collection." Gifts. Ed. J Haakestad. Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseum, 2012. 42-47.

Abe, S. "The Modern Moment of Chinese Sculpture." Exhibiting Asian Art: Issues and Perspectives. National Museum of Korea; Friends of National Museum of Korea, 2011. 27–45-27–45.

Abe, S. "Rockefeller Home Decorating and Objects from China." Collecting China: The World, China, and a Short History of Collecting. Ed. V Rujivacharakul. University of Delaware Press, 2011. 107–23-107–23.

Abe, S. "Locating World Art." The Migrant’s Time: Rethinking Art History and Diaspora. Ed. S Mathur. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2011. 130-45.

Abe, S. "Collecting Chinese Sculpture: Paris, New York, Boston." Journeys East: Isabella Stewart Gardner and Asia. Ed. A Chong and N Murai. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2009. 432-442.

"China, The Buddha, and Modern Aestheticism." Re-Imagining Asia: A Thousand Years of Separation. Ed. S Merali. Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2008. 124-133.

Abe, S. "From Stone to Sculpture: The Alchemy of the Modern." Treasures Rediscovered: Chinese Stone Sculpture from the Sackler Collections at Columbia University. Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, 2008. 7–16-7–16.

Abe, S. "To Avoid the Inscrutable: Abstract Expressionism and the "Oriental Mode"." Discrepant Abstraction. Ed. K Mercer. MIT Press, 2006. 52-73.


Abe, SK. "Pulitzer foundation workshop." Archives of Asian Art 62 (December 1, 2012): 81-81. Full Text

Abe, SK. "Absence and the image." Archives of Asian Art 62 (December 1, 2012): 102-103. Full Text

Abe, S. "Review of Marsha Weidner, ed., Cultural Intersections in Late Imperial Chinese Buddhism." Journal of Asian Studies 61 (May 2002): 715-16. (Review)

Abe, S. "Review essay of Lukas Nickel, ed., Return of the Buddha: The Qingzhou Discoveries." Aribus Asiae 62 (2002): 293–99-293–99. (Review)

Abe, SK. "Provenance, patronage, and desire: Northern Wei sculpture from Shaanxi province." Ars Orientalis 31 (December 1, 2001): 1-30. (Review)

Abe, S. "Review of Stephen Little with Shawn Eichman, Taoism and the Arts of China." Journal of Chinese Religions 29 (2001): 332-34. (Review)

Stanley Abe, . "Tobacco Art: Xu Bing's Tobacco Project." Duke University Libraries 14.1 (October 2000): 3-7. (Academic Article)

Buddhist Sculpture In a New Light. Creator. (2002)


An exhibition of twenty-two works from the storage of the Freer Gallery, co-curated with Jan Stuart; some of the works were previously considered the masterpieces of the collection but have been relegated to storage; many others have never been exhibited