MFA Boston Hires New Curator of Chinese Art


Nancy Berliner has been appointed curator of Chinese art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Currently serving the World Monuments Fund as an advisor on the Forbidden City Qianlong Garden project, she assumes her new position at the MFA in October.

Berliner, who is fluent in Chinese, studied at Harvard University and at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. She previously worked as a guest curator of the MFA’s exhibition “Beyond the Screen: Chinese Furniture of the 16th and 17th Centuries” (1996). Beginning in 2000, she was the curator of Chinese art at the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass. There, she curated the exhibition “Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City” (2010). She also initiated the Yin Yu Tang House project, which involved transferring a Chinese merchant house to the PEM.

Jane Portal, the museum’s chair of the art of Asia, Oceania and Africa, said in a press release, “Nancy brings to the MFA a rich record of research, writing and curatorial work that has sought to frame a broad definition of Chinese art and visual culture.”

The MFA is known for its comprehensive collection of Buddhist stone sculptures dating from the Han to the Tang period, master paintings created from the Tang period to the 12th century and ceramics made from the Neolithic period to the 20th century. In 2010, the museum put on the exhibition “Fresh Ink: Ten Takes on Chinese Tradition,” for which 10 contemporary ink artists produced new work in response to classic examples in the MFA collection.