Endowed Professor Spotlight: Lara Blanchard – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Endowed Professor Spotlight: Lara Blanchard

Lara Blanchard, the Luce Professor of East Asian Art and the Lloyd Wright Professor in Conservative Studies, is an award-winning art historian whose scholarship explores the intersections of gender, culture and creativity in a range of eras and media.

Examining Chinese pictorial arts from the Song dynasty through the present, the construction of gender in art, women as artists and patrons, text-image relationships and Chinese theories of representation, Blanchard’s articles appeared in the journals Artibus Asiae, ​Ars Orientalis and Nan Nü: Men, Women and Gender in China. Her monograph, Song Dynasty Figures of Longing and Desire: Gender and Interiority in Chinese Painting and Poetry, was published in 2018. Gender, Continuity, and the Shaping of Modernity in the Arts of East Asia, 16th – 20th Centuries, which she coedited, appeared in 2017.

Blanchard is the coauthor of the textbook Asian Art, which illuminates the diversity of Asian artistic traditions from the prehistoric period through the 21st century. The book received the 2016 Franklin R. Buchanan Prize for Asia Curriculum Materials from the Association for Asian Studies.

Blanchard’s research on video and mixed-media works by contemporary Chinese women artists is forthcoming in the peer-reviewed journal positions: asia critique in 2020. Meanwhile, she is studying a 19th-century female author and her history of Chinese women’s painting throughout the imperial era. Blanchard says she plans to use Wright endowed professorship funding “to obtain publication rights for images (a necessity when publishing journal articles and books in art history), to acquire copies of my publications for museums that have granted me image publication rights (another necessity for art history publishing), to buy more art history books for my own research, to do research using the Chinese-language sources held in the Kroch Asia Library at Cornell University, and to travel to China and Japan to view works of art in collections there as well as architectural sites that I teach about regularly.”

A former chair of the HWS Art and Architecture Department, Blanchard teaches a range of interdisciplinary courses, from Chinese and Japanese art history to women’s studies. She joined the HWS faculty in 2001, holding an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan and B.A. from the College of William and Mary. A former research fellow at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art, she is now an associate in research at Cornell University’s East Asia Program and a member of the Association for Asian Studies, the College Art Association and the Arts of China Consortium.