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, Berkeley 1989

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

  • B.A., University of California, 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, Stanley. “Before Sculpture.” Towards the Future: Museums and Art History in East Asia, edited by Hiroyuki Suzuki and Akira Akiyama, Japanese Committee for CIHA, Comité International de l’Histoire de l’Art and Otsuka Museum of Art, 2020, pp. 50–56.

Abe, S., and J. Elsner. “Introduction: Some Stakes of Comparativism.” Comparativism in Art History, edited by J. Elsner, Routledge, 2017, pp. 1–15.

Abe, S. “Sculpture: A Comparative History.” Comparativism in Art History, edited by J. Elsner, Routledge, 2017, pp. 94–108.

Abe, S. “General Munthe’s Sculpture Collection.” Gifts, edited by Jorunn Haakestad, Vestlandske Kunstindustrimuseum, 2012, pp. 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, pp. 27–45.

Abe, S. “Rockefeller Home Decorating and Objects from China.” Collecting China: The World, China, and a Short History of Collecting, edited by Vimalin Rujivacharakul, University of Delaware Press, 2011, pp. 107–23.

Abe, S. “Locating World Art.” The Migrant’s Time: Rethinking Art History and Diaspora, edited by Saloni Mathur, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 2011, pp. 130–45.

Abe, S. “Collecting Chinese Sculpture: Paris, New York, Boston.” Journeys East: Isabella Stewart Gardner and Asia, edited by Alan Chong and Noriko Murai, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2009, pp. 432–42.

Merali, Shaheen, editor. “China, The Buddha, and Modern Aestheticism.” Re-Imagining Asia: A Thousand Years of Separation, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2008, pp. 124–33.

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, pp. 7–16.


Abe, S. K. “Pulitzer foundation workshop.” Archives of Asian Art, vol. 62, Dec. 2012, p. 81. Scopus, doi:10.1353/aaa.2012.0005. Full Text

Abe, S. K. “Absence and the image.” Archives of Asian Art, vol. 62, Dec. 2012, pp. 102–03. Scopus, doi:10.1353/aaa.2012.0011. Full Text

Abe, S. “Review of Ning Qiang, Art, Religion, and Politics in Medieval China: The Dunhuang Cave of the Zhai Family.” Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 64, 2005, pp. 454–56.

Abe, S. “Review of Marsha Weidner, ed., Cultural Intersections in Late Imperial Chinese Buddhism.” Journal of Asian Studies, vol. 61, May 2002, pp. 715–16.

Abe, S. “Review essay of Lukas Nickel, ed., Return of the Buddha: The Qingzhou Discoveries.” Aribus Asiae, vol. 62, 2002, pp. 293–99.

Abe, S. K. “Provenance, patronage, and desire: Northern Wei sculpture from Shaanxi province.” Ars Orientalis, vol. 31, Dec. 2001, pp. 1–30.

Abe, S. “Review of Stephen Little with Shawn Eichman, Taoism and the Arts of China.” Journal of Chinese Religions, vol. 29, 2001, pp. 332–34.

Stanley Abe, Shawn. “Tobacco Art: Xu Bing's Tobacco Project.” Duke University Libraries, vol. 14, no. 1, Oct. 2000, pp. 3–7.

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