May Lecture

May Lecture

Janice Katz, Ph.D.

Roger L. Weston Associate Curator of

Japanese Art, Art Institute of Chicago

The World’s Fair, Phoenix Pavilion and the Art Institute of Chicago

The presentation of Japanese art and culture at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition can be appreciated through the few exhibited items remaining in Chicago today.  The only remnants of the Phoenix Pavilion, Japan’s national pavilion at the 1893 World’s Fair, are part of the Art Institute’s collection.  The work to conserve these intricately carved architectural features and brightly-colored paintings has been underway since 2009.  Janice will discuss the Art Institute’s role in preserving the history and glory of the site and the ongoing research surrounding the recent discovery of painted sliding doors from the building.


Janice Katz received her Ph.D. from Princeton University in 2004.  Her research at the Art Institute of Chicago focuses on the paintings from the Edo period (1615-1868) and the history of collecting art in Japan.  She is the primary author of the catalogue Japanese Paintings in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (2003), and the organizer of the exhibition Beyond Golden Clouds: Japanese Screens from the Art Institute of Chicago and the St. Louis Art Museum (2009).  She received the Cultural Achievement Award from the Japan America society in 2009.