Between leading a team of curators, planning large-scale exhibitions, and collaborating with campus partners, chief curator Soyoung Lee rarely has a free moment during the workday. But when she does, you’ll find her in the galleries.
Lee, who specializes in Korean ceramics, became the Landon and Lavinia Clay Chief Curator last fall after 15 years as a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Senior writer Katie Aberbach recently accompanied her on a walk through the galleries to hear more about a few objects she’s especially fond of and new initiatives she’s involved with.
Soyoung Lee: I knew about this jar because the donor, who’s a Harvard (Radcliffe) alumna, was also a supporter of Asian art at the Metropolitan Museum. She had decided to give the work to Harvard. I remember asking her, “Why are you giving it to Harvard? You should give it to the Met.” Of course, now I’m very happy it’s here.
If you look at the dragon, what’s your immediate response?