- Professor, Japanese Art
Sherry Fowler specializes in Japanese Buddhist art. Her interests include pre-modern sculpture, Edo and Meiji period Japanese temple prints (keidaizu), pilgrimage prints (ofuda), foreign interactions with Japanese art, issues of collecting, and ritual. She has written on the development of the imagery of the cult of the Six Kannon in Japan and Buddhist prints in the pilgrimage process. Her recent research project is on the relationship between dragons, water, and Buddhist temple bells in Japan.
Graduate Seminars (recent topics)
Sightings of Japanese Buddhist Sculpture
Korea-Japan: Negotiating Art Old and New
Theory and Method in East Asian Art History
Japanese Prints: Popular and Unpopular
Silk Road to Kansas: East Asian Art & Global Flow
Crafts in Japan: Materials, Making, and Meaning
Sacred Space in Japanese Art
Buddhist Art of the Heian and Kamakura Periods
Secrecy in Japanese Art
Pilgrimage in East Asian Art
Modernity and Identity of Transnational Japan, 1850-1950
Collecting East Asian Art in the U.S. and Europe
Japanese Buddhist Icons
Introduction to Asian Art History
History of Japanese Painting
Japanese Buddhist Art
Art of Buddhism
History of Japanese Sculpture
Art & Culture of Japan
Selected Publications —
Accounts and Images of Six Kannon in Japan. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2016.
Murōji: Rearranging Art and History at a Japanese Buddhist Temple. Honolulu: University of Hawaiʻi Press, 2005.
“Japanese Buddhist Sculpture.” Coauthored with Yui Suzuki. In Oxford Bibliographies in Art History, ed. Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann. New York: Oxford University Press, February 21, 2022. DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199920105-0170 oxfordbibliographies.com
"The Literary and Legendary Lives of the Onoe Bell: A Korean Celebrity in Japan.” Archives of Asian Art 71, no. 1 (2021): 37–61.
“Kinen no shūgōtai: Saigoku junrei no Kannon no mokuhan Kannon fuda no kakejiku.” [Japanese: 273–317; 370–379] / “Collective Commemoration: Kannon Print Scrolls from the Saigoku Pilgrimage” [English: 319–379]. In Nihon bukkyō no tenkai to sono zōkei [Medieval Japanese Buddhist Practices and Their Visual Art Expressions], ed. Michimoto Tesshin. Kyoto: Hōzōkan, 2020.
“Drawing Embodied: Ed Hardy’s East Asian Art Connections” (with Dale Slusser). In Ed Hardy: Deeper than Skin: Art of the New Tattoo, ed. Karin Breuer, 24–35. San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2019.
“Connecting Kannon to Women Through Print.” In Women, Rites, and Ritual Objects in Premodern Japan, ed Karen Gerhart, 221–266. Leiden: Brill Publishing, 2018.
“Containers of Sacred Text and Image at Twelfth-Century Chōanji in Kyushu.” Artibus Asiae 74, no. 1 (2014): 43-73.
“Saved by the Bell: Six Kannon and Bonshō.” In Cultural Crossings: China and Beyond in the Early Medieval Period. Dorothy Wong, ed. Singapore: Nalanda-Sriwijaya Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2014.
Voices: Art Linking Asia and the West. Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas. December 4, 2018–December 21, 2019. Co-curated with Maki Kaneko and Aileen Wang.
Online Exhibitions Curated:
"Interweaving Cultures along the Silk Road(s)." September 4–December 13, 2020.
“Sacred Space and Japanese Art at the Spencer Museum of Art.” October 30, 2014–May 15, 2015.
“Divine Inspiration in Japanese Prints at the Spencer Museum of Art.” April 10–April 22, 2012.
Awards & Honors —
2021-2022 Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Research Fellowship in Buddhist Studies
2020 Keeler Intra-University Professorship in Religious Studies Department
2018-19 Big XII Faculty Fellowship, Kansas State University
2017-18 Stanford University East Asia Library Travel Grant
2017 Association of Asian Studies Japan Studies Travel Grant
2013 Florence Tan Moeson Fellowship, Asian Division, Library of Congress
2012 Big XII Faculty Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin
2011 Association of Asian Studies Japan Studies Travel Grant
2009 Japan Foundation Fellowship
2009 Hall Center for the Humanities Fellowship
2006-2007 Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Fellowship, Sainsbury Institute for the Study of Japanese Arts and Cultures, University of London
2005-2006 Asian Cultural Council Asian Art and Religion Fellowship
2005 Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Art Studies
2004 Association of Asian Studies, Japan Studies Research Travel within the U.S.A.
2003 Hall Center for the Humanities Vice-Chancellor's Book Subvention Award
2001 Japan Foundation Fellowship; Association of Asian Studies Japan Studies Travel Grant
2016-present Professor, University of Kansas
2004-2016 Associate Professor, University of Kansas
2000-2004 Assistant Professor, University of Kansas
1995-2000 Assistant Professor, Lewis & Clark College, Portland, Oregon
Ph.D. Dissertations Directed
Yen-Yi Chan, “The Kōfukuji Nan'endō and Its Buddhist Icons: Emplacing Family Memory and History of the Northern Fujiwara Clan, 800-1200,” November 2018.
Ye-Gee Kwon, “Embracing Death and the Afterlife: Sculptures of Enma and His Entourage at Rokuharamitsuji,” October 2018.
Rachel Voorhies, “Carved into the Living Rock: Japanese Stone Buddhist Sculpture and Site in the Heian and Kamakura Periods,” April 2016.
Elizabeth Williams, “Casting a New Mold: The American Silver Industry and Japanese Meiji Metalwork 1876-1893,” April 2015.
Halle O’Neal, “Written Stūpa, Painted Sūtra: Relationships of Text and Image in the Construction of Meaning in the Japanese Jeweled-Stūpa Mandalas,” 2011. Recipient of the University of Kansas Marnie and Bill Argersinger Prize for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation.
Hillary Pedersen, “The Five Great Repository Bodhisattvas: Lineage, Protection and Celestial Authority in Ninth Century Japan,” 2010.
Karen Mack, “The Function and Context of Fudo Imagery from the Ninth to Fourteenth Century in Japan,” 2006.
Elizabeth Kindall, “The Pilgrimage Paintings of Huang Xiangjian (1609-73) in the Ming-Qing Transition,” 2006.