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This profile was last updated on 10/15/14  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Andrew M. Watsky

Wrong Andrew M. Watsky?

Professor of Japanese Art History

Phone: (609) ***-****  
Email: w***@***.edu
Local Address:  New Jersey , United States
Princeton University
350 Alexander Street
Princeton , New Jersey 08540
United States

Company Description: Princeton University is a vibrant community of scholarship and learning that stands in the nation's service and in the service of all nations. Chartered in 1746,...   more

Employment History


  • bachelor's degree , art history
  • master's degree , Japanese art and archaeology
    Princeton University
  • Ph.D.
36 Total References
Web References
Co-curated by Andrew M. ..., 15 Oct 2014 [cached]
Co-curated by Andrew M. Watsky, professor of Japanese art history and archaeology at Princeton University, and Caru Liu, the museum's curator of Asian art, the exhibit explores the ways of appreciating, displaying, using, and documenting this prestigious Chinese antique-turned-tea-jar.
"In an unusual way, the exhibit is about one object, this tea storage jar, which is 40 centimeters tall," Watsky says.
Its name distinguishes it from all other tea jars and thus has enabled scholars, such as Watsky, to trace its history as a revered object within the Japanese tea tradition. Additional tea culture accessories and archival materials accumulated over the course of Chigusa's long life enhance and expand the exhibition.
Those "accessories" can be thought of as gifts Chigusa's admirers would have given it, and include textile "clothing," exquisite storage boxes, and even poetry. It's a bit like the ancient Egyptians burying their royalty with the fine things they loved, with the major difference being that Chigusa was never buried.
"For centuries Chigusa has been very much used in the practice of tea," says Watsky, explaining that he does not use the term "tea ceremony."
"The Japanese term for the ceremony is 'chanoyu,'" he says. "Most people seeing the exhibit are not speakers of Japanese, but I hope the new word they take away is this one, 'chanoyu.' This was a very important cultural practice and goes all the way back to the 15th century, and it still goes on today."
The sumptuous, 288-page book, "Chigusa and the Art of Tea," co-edited by Watsky and Louise Allison Cort, curator of ceramics at the Smithsonian Institution's Freer and Sackler galleries, accompanies the exhibit.
"The tea practice has changed a lot over the centuries, according to the nature of people," Watsky says. "It's not (and was never) just sitting around drinking tea; there are a whole range of activities that are focused around the enjoyment of tea - how you receive the tea, how you drink it, even the room where 'chanoyu' takes place - which would be carefully designed to facilitate this activity - was important."
"This exhibit is focused on the 16th century, one of the high points of the tea practice," he adds. "I think of it as the avant-garde performance practice of the day, and the people involved in this practice were well trained."
Watsky is teaching an undergraduate seminar this fall titled "Tea, Large Jars, Warriors, and Merchants in 16th Century Japan. The seminar will use the exhibition as a laboratory for the study of Japanese art, each week focusing on a different aspect of tea culture.
Certainly the warrior class in 16th century Japan was involved in "chanoyu," but so was the mercantile class. Leaders of both classes were the most involved in the tea practice because it took money to collect the things to honor and give to Chigusa.
"You also needed time to fully appreciate and participate in the tea practice," Watsky says.
"It's been very well taken care of," Watsky says.
A busy lecturer as well as a prolific author of scholarly articles about Japanese art and culture, Watsky grew up in Westchester County, where his father was in the roofing business and his mother was a career counselor; neither had much curiosity about the Far East, but always encouraged their son in his interests, he says.
Watsky graduated in 1979, with a bachelor's degree in art history, from Oberlin College in Ohio, and then traveled to Japan after college as an Oberlin Shansi Memorial Association Fellow. "I ended up staying in Japan for six years, and I guess I fell in love with Japan and its art - especially 16th-century art, which spoke to me on a visceral level," Watsky says.
He earned a master's degree in Japanese art and archaeology from Princeton University in 1990, then a Ph.D. in the same field of study in 1994.
In the late 1980s Watsky was a curatorial assistant/assistant curator of the exhibit, "Japan: the Shaping of Daimyo Culture, 1185-1868," at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. That was followed by joining the art history faculty at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, from 1994 to June, 2008, and, in 2006, spending six months as the Atsumi visiting associate professor in Japanese art in the art history and archaeology department at Columbia University. He joined the Princeton faculty in 2008 and serves as both professor of Japanese art history and director of graduate studies.
"Since living in Japan, I've always had a close connection to it, both personally and professionally," Watsky says.
Montgomery News - Arts, 18 Aug 2014 [cached]
"Chigusa is the rare object that allows us deep insight into how people in Japan looked at, thought about and valued things over time," said Andrew M. Watsky, professor of Japanese art history at Princeton University. "We are incredibly fortunate to participate in the now centuries-long activity of examining and appreciating this singular ceramic jar."
The exhibition is accompanied by a publication by multiple authors narrating Chigusa's 700-year history-a major contribution to the study of Japanese aesthetics, history and material culture. Chigusa and the Art of Tea (288 pp., 272 illus., $40, published by the Freer and Sackler Galleries and distributed by the University of Washington Press) is coedited by Louise Allison Cort and Andrew M. Watsky.
Andrew Watsky, Professor, ..., 1 April 2011 [cached]
Andrew Watsky, Professor, Department of Art and Architecture, Princeton University
Presenters Takeuchi Jun'ichi, Andrew Watsky, Oka Yoshiko, and Louise Cort with Chigusa.
Current Press Releases | Freer and Sackler Galleries, 7 Sept 2006 [cached]
The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and The Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Art Studies in Kyoto, Japan, today announced that Andrew M. Watsky, associate professor of Japanese and Chinese art history at Vassar College, is the winner of the eighth biennial competition of the Shimada Prize for an outstanding publication on the history of East Asian art.
Watsky constructs his argument through a rigorous, textured study of the Tsukubusuma Shrine on the sacred island of Chikubushima, located in Shiga Prefecture, north of the ancient capital of Kyoto.
Eschewing conventions in Japanese art history that tend to treat media in isolation from one another, Watsky analyzes the architecture, painting, lacquerware, relief wood carving, metalwork and architectural coloring in an integrated fashion to understand the true nature of this palimpsest-like structure.
Meticulously researched, elegantly structured and beautifully written, Watsky's book exemplifies the ideals upon which the Shimada Prize was founded. The translated documentation in the appendix and 150 reproductions (more than 60 in color) reflect the author's commitment to his subject and discipline and ensure that this study will serve for years to come as a veritable textbook for the art and cultural history of one of the most dynamic eras in premodern Japan.
Watsky received his bachelor's degree from Oberlin College and his master's degree and doctorate from Princeton University. His book "Chikubushima: Deploying the Sacred Arts in Momoyama Japan" also was awarded the Association for Asian Studies' John Whitney Hall Book Prize in 2006.
Vassar College associate ..., 31 May 2007 [cached]
Vassar College associate professor of art Andrew Watsky has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship award.
Watsky, who joined the Vassar faculty in 1994, was awarded the fellowship to research named objects in Momoyama-period Japan, a period from the late 16th to early 17th century marked by increasing political unity.
Beginning in July, Watsky's yearlong research will place him on academic leave, and allow him to write and travel to Japan.
The Guggenheim-sponsored work will focus on the naming of objects of art during the period, including ceramic bowls, tea containers, and other vessels.Even stones were given proper names and meanings in Japanese culture.
Watsky has previously received research grants from the Social Science Research Council and the American Council of Learned Societies, Fulbright-Hays, the Japan Foundation, and the Tokyo National Research Institute of Cultural Properties.
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