Skip to main content
Stanford University

Asian American Art Initiative

Asian American Art Initiative


A space to explore, exhibit and research Asian American and Asian diaspora artists and their work at the Cantor

The Asian American Art Initiative strives for further exploration of Asian American and Asian diaspora artists and their work, including the acquisition, preservation, and display of Asian American art and the production of interdisciplinary scholarship to advance research in the field.

Explore the timeline below to discover relevant moments in Asian American art that relate to Stanford University.

About the Asian American Art Initiative


The launch of the Asian American Art Initiative at the Cantor furthers Stanford’s foundation as a leading academic and curatorial center for contemporary dialogue on global perspectives and Asian American and Asian diaspora art and culture, in particular.

Strengthened by recent acquisitions, the program presents new opportunities for the university to deliver encounters with outstanding Asian American art and artists while facilitating museum-based scholarship about the plurality of their histories.

We invite you to read about the latest acquisitions, explore the collection, and learn how you can access the resources made available to advance scholarship in the field.

What We Do

Our Mission

Who We Are

Our Team

Our Partners

Our Partners

Our Mission

We strive to acquire, preserve, display and produce interdisciplinary scholarship on Asian American and Asian diaspora artists and their work.

Acquisition

Acquisitions present new opportunities for the university to deliver encounters with outstanding Asian American art and artists.

Preservation

Among curatorial activities within the AAAI, collecting aims to further Stanford as a repository for archives related to Asian American art.

Exhibition

The AAAI is committed to exhibiting work by Asian American artists to help audiences discover new and historic perspectives.

Scholarship

The AAAI will act as a hub of study forging new research connections and supporting undergraduate and graduate research in the field while facilitating museum-based scholarship about the plurality of Asian American experiences.

Our Team

The AAAI is spearheaded by the Cantor Arts Center and brings in partners from across Stanford University.

Aleesa Alexander, PhD

Assistant Curator of American Art, Cantor Arts Center

Co-Director

Aleessa Alexander is Assistant Curator of American Art at the Cantor Arts Center. She strives to bring forward an expanded vision of American art in the museum and academia to comprehensively understand the history of artwork made in this country. She collaborates with the Cantor team to develop innovative exhibitions and campus programming surrounding the work of American artists.

Marci Kwon, PhD

Assistant Professor of Art History, Stanford University

Co-Director

Marci Kwon is Assistant Professor of Art History at Stanford University. Marci specializes in art and culture of the United States. Her research and teaching interests include the intersection of fine art and vernacular practice, theories of modernism, cultural exchange between Asia and the Americas, "folk" and "self-taught" art, and issues of race and objecthood.

Vanessa Kam

Head Librarian, Bowes Art and Architecture Library, Stanford University

Advisor

Vanessa Kam is Head Librarian of the Bowes Art and Architecture Library at Stanford University. As a subject specialist in art history and visual art, she builds research collections, provides research support, and leads library instruction sessions that help researchers maximize their use of the resources held by the Stanford University Libraries. 

Gordon Chang, PhD

Senior Associate Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education*

Advisor

Gordon Chang's scholarly research is focused in foreign relations and the historical connections between race and ethnicity in America. He also explores trans-Pacific relations in their diplomatic, cultural, and social dimensions. He is a published author in the areas of U.S. diplomacy, America-China relations, the Chinese diaspora, Asian American history, and global history. His most recent books have examined the history of Chinese railroad workers in America in the 19th century.

*Mr. Chang also serves as Professor of American History and is the Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities at Stanford University.

Our Partners

The Asian American Art Initiative is spearheaded by the Cantor Arts Center, and collaborates with the following partners:

  • The Vice Presidency for the Arts
     
  • The Institute for Diversity in the Arts
     
  • Anderson Collection at Stanford University
     
  • Stanford Libraries and Special Collections
     
  • The Department of Art and Art History at Stanford University