Associate Curator for Chinese Painting and Calligraphy
Stephen D. Allee has been the Freer|Sackler’s associate curator for Chinese painting and calligraphy since 2012. In 1975, he received his BA in Chinese language and literature from George Washington University, Washington, DC. Selected as a fellow by the Committee for Scholarly Communication with the People’s Republic of China (National Academy of Sciences), he was among the first eight US graduate students to study in the People’s Republic of China, attending the University of Nanjing from 1979 to 1980. After receiving his master’s degree from the University of Washington in 1986, Allee joined the Freer|Sackler in 1988 as an assistant to the former senior curator of Chinese painting and calligraphy; he later served as a research specialist in Chinese art.
Allee has curated or cocurated more than thirty exhibitions at the museums, including the popular Family Matters: Portraits from the Qing Court (2011) and Enigmas: The Art of Bada Shanren (1626–1705) (2015). His research and translations from Chinese have appeared in numerous exhibitions and publications, including Challenging the Past: The Paintings of Chang Dai-chien (1991), Brushing the Past: Later Chinese Calligraphy from the Gift of Robert Hatfield Ellsworth (2000), and In Pursuit of Heavenly Harmony: Paintings and Calligraphy by Bada Shanren from the Estate of Wang Fangyu and Sum Wai (2003). He also contributed to the Freer|Sackler’s web resources “Song and Yuan Dynasty Painting and Calligraphy” (2010) and “Painting with Words: Gentleman Artists of the Ming Dynasty” (2016).