Coates-Cowden-Brown Curator of Asian Art
John Johnston assumed the Coates-Cowden-Brown Curatorship of Asian Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art in February 2009. Johnston was trained at the Honolulu Academy of Arts and the University of Hawaii. He has conducted lengthy art historical fieldwork in Bhutan, China, Thailand and Japan. Previous work includes university-level teaching and major auction house experience. Johnston’s research interests include Chinese porcelain and ceramics, Buddhist art, jade and the history of printing; he speaks locally, nationally and internationally on these and other topics.
Johnston served as project director, curator and catalogue co-author for the international exhibition 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade Featuring Selections from the National Museum of History, Taiwan and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution organized by SAMA in 2011. Johnston is also co-author and co-curator of the internationally acclaimed catalogue and exhibition The Dragon’s Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan. Focused exhibitions at SAMA curated by Johnston include Music in Medieval China; Seasons of Beauty: Yoshitoshi’s Thirty-two Aspects of Daily Life; and The Chinese Art of Cricket-Keeping, The Ernest K.H. Lee Collection. Articles by Johnston have appeared in Orientations, Arts of Asia, Far Eastern Economic Review and other publications.