Claire Roberts is a research fellow with Geremie R. Barmé’s Australian Research Council–funded Federation Fellowship at the Australian National University (ANU) and senior curator of Asian arts and design at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. Her research interests include Chinese visual culture, cultural history, and contemporary Chinese art.
At Radcliffe, Roberts will work on a book about photography and China and undertake a detailed examination of the Hedda Morrison archive at Harvard-Yenching Library. Both projects acknowledge the centrality of photography to contemporary culture and China’s increasingly important role in world affairs. Although many books have been written about photography and China, there is no historical overview of photography in China—by both Chinese and non-Chinese photographers—from the 1840s to the present. The publication will draw on archival collections in the United States, China, and Australia.
Roberts earned an MA from the University of Melbourne and a PhD in Chinese history from ANU. She was a history of art fellow at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in 2003. Since 2007, she has held a research fellowship at ANU. She has curated numerous exhibitions relating to East Asian culture. She edited Other Histories: Guan Wei’s Fable for a Contemporary World (Wild Peony, 2008; University of Hawaii Press, 2009) and coedited The Great Wall of China (Powerhouse Publishing, 2006). Her book on the relationship between artist Huang Binhong (1865–1955) and translator Fou Lei (1908–1966) is forthcoming from Hong Kong University Press.