Eric Kjellgren portrait

Eric Kjellgren

Clinical Faculty and Director, American Museum of Asmat Art
Degree
A.B.: Harvard University
A.M.: Harvard University
M.A.: University of Hawai’i, Mānoa
Ph.D.: University of Hawai’i, Mānoa
Office
44 N. Cleveland Ave.
Phone
(651) 962-5512
Toll Free
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-5512
Fax
+1 (612) 962-5861
Mail
44C

Specialization: Pacific Islands (Oceania) and Indigenous Australia

Eric Kjellgren’s primary area of research and curation of museum exhibitions is in the arts of the Pacific Islands and the indigenous peoples of Australia and Island Southeast Asia. He has worked extensively with contemporary Indigenous Australian painters in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia as well as with art and artists from many areas of the Pacific.  He is currently developing exhibitions and other projects for the American Museum of Asmat Art.

Publications: Books and Exhibitions Catalogues

How to Read Oceanic Art (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2014).

Oceania: Art of the Pacific Islands in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2007).

Adorning the World: Art of the Marquesas Islands (exhibition catalogue, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2005), with Carol S. Ivory.

Splendid Isolation: Art of Easter Island (exhibition catalogue, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2001), with contributions from Jo Anne Van Tilburg and Adrienne Kaeppler.

Work in Progress

The Social Life of a Lime Spatula by Mutuaga (ca. 1860 – ca. 1920). In: Foster, Robert (ed.), Art/Artifact/Commodity (working title). [forthcoming]

Selected Recent Articles

[Review of Altman, Ann (trans.) and Shawn McLaughling (ed.), English translation of Stéphen-Chauvet, [Charles], 1935, l’Île de Pacques et ses Mystères]. Pacific Arts N.S. Vol. 12(1) (2012): 51-54.

“In Unknown Country: East Kimberley Artists and the Art World.”  In: Stevenson, Karen (ed.), Pacific Island Artists: Navigating the Global Art World (Oakland, CA: Masalai Press, 2011) 23-34.

“Hip Wrapper (Sarung),” In: Ekhtiar, Maryam et al. (eds.).  Masterpieces from the Department of Islamic Art in The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press, 2011) 404-5.

“Collecting Oceania: Art, History, and the Pacific Islands.” In: Mattet, Laurence (ed.), A Legacy of Collecting: African and Oceanic Art from the Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Geneva: Musée Barbier-Mueller, 2009) 32-39.

“A Lampung Palepai Maju,” Hali 159 (Spring 2009): 40-41, 43.

“The Painters of Warmun,” “Her Style,” and “Painting as Storytelling.”  In: Field, Jennifer Joi (ed.), Written in the Land: The Life of Queenie McKenzie. (Melbourne: Melbourne Books, 2008)165.

“The Pacific Resurfaces: The New Galleries for Oceanic Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York,” Tribal Art 47 (Winter 2007/2008) 98-107.

"Of Artists, Abstraction, and Agendas: East Kimberley Aboriginal Painting and/as Contemporary Art."  In: Karen Stevenson and Virginia-Lee Webb, (eds.).  Re-presenting Pacific Art: Essays from the Pacific Arts Association Sixth International Symposium, July 23-28, 2001. (Adelaide: Crawford House Press, 2007) 196-213.

“From Fanla to New York and Back: Recovering the Authorship and Iconography of a Slit Drum from Ambrym Island, Vanuatu,” Journal of Museum Ethnography 17 (2005) 118-129.

Selected Museum Exhibitions Curated

Permanent Installations:

Permanent Galleries for Oceanic Art, Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, Galleries 354, 355, and 356, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (opened November 2007). 

Temporary Exhibitions:

“Resistance and Splendor in Javanese Textiles,” exhibition in The Michael C.Rockefeller Wing Corridor, Gallery 399, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Sept. 25th, 2012 – April 14th, 2013)

“Sounding the Pacific: Musical Instruments of Oceania,” Michael C. Rockefeller Wing,The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, (November 17th, 2009 – January 23rd, 2011)

“Contemporary Aboriginal Painting from Australia,” exhibition in The Michael C.Rockefeller Wing Corridor, Gallery 399, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (December 15th, 2009 – June 27th, 2010)

“The Fabric of Life: Ikat Textiles of Indonesia,” Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, (February 28th – September 24th, 2006)

“Adorning the World: Art of the Marquesas Islands,” Michael C. Rockefeller Wing The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (May 10th, 2005 – January 15th, 2006)

“Splendid Isolation: Art of Easter Island,” Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (December 11th, 2001 – September 8th, 2002)

“Guardians of the Longhouse: Art in Borneo,” Michael C. Rockefeller Wing, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (April 13th, 1999 - January 2nd, 2000)

Recent Research Presentations

Annual Meeting of the European Branch of the Pacific Arts Association (PAAE), “The Same Thing Only Different?: Exploring the Imagery of a Boiken Lintel,” Cologne, Germany, April 2014.

Buffalo Museum of Science Invited symposium Art/Artifact/Commodity: The Currency of Oceanic Things, “Artifact, Art, and Commodity: The Social Lives of a Lime Spatula by Mutuaga (ca. 1860 – ca. 1920),” Buffalo, New York, January 2012.  

Annual Meeting of the European Branch of the Pacific Arts Association (PAAE), “The Country and the City: Exhibiting East Kimberley Painting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art,” Leiden, the Netherlands, April 2011.

Xth International Symposium of the Pacific Arts Association, “Ngarrgoorroon Man: The Life and Art of Hector Jandany (ca. 1927–2006),” Rarotonga, Cook Islands, August 2010.

Annual Meeting of the European Branch of the Pacific Arts Association (PAAE), “Collecting, Art, and a Massim Artist: Re-Viewing a Lime Spatula by Mutuaga (ca. 1860-ca.1920),” Bonn, Germany, September 2009.

Invited conference on Nukuoro at the Foundation Beyeler, “Form and Variation in Nukuoro Figures”, Basel, Switzerland, June 2009.

Scholarships and Honorary Appointments

2002 – Present, Fellow, The Royal Geographical Society, London.

1999 – Present, Fellow Resident, The Explorers Club, New York, NY.

1995-96 Fulbright-Hays Scholarship for Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad

Professional Affiliations and Offices Held

Pacific Arts Association, (Secretary, 1999-2005)
College Art Association
Oceanic Art Society (Australia)
Association of Art Museum Curators
Midwest Art History Society
Association for Social Anthropology in Oceania
Council for Museum Anthropology

Fall 2017 Courses

Fall 2017 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ARTH 110 - W13 Introduction to Art History M - W - F - - 1215 - 1320 OEC 203
CRN: 42120 Instructor: Eric P. Kjellgren Through a series of case studies, this course examines the importance of art as cultural expression across time and from a global perspective. In each course section, students will analyze the style, subject, and patronage of works of art, and will explore art's relationship to religion, ideology, society and economy, gender roles, and the interaction of cultures. Case studies will include architecture, sculpture, painting, and other arts, such as ceramics, textiles, and photography. This course fulfills the Fine Arts and Human Diversity core requirements. Consult the department website for details about the specific sections offered.

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)

J-Term 2018 Courses

J-Term 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location

Spring 2018 Courses

Spring 2018 Courses
Course - Section Title Days Time Location
ARHS 536 - 01 Asmat Museum and Beyond - T - - - - - 1730 - 2030 OEC 414
CRN: 22425 Instructor: Eric P. Kjellgren This graduate level seminar addresses topics related to the art of the Pacific (Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia).

Schedule Details

Location Time Day(s)