Allison R. Miller

Notable Achievements

Associate Professor of Art History Allison Miller gave an invited lecture titled “Terracotta Warriors after the First Emperor: Re-Evaluating the Qin Legacy in the Han” on January 17, 2020, at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. The talk was the last of three talks Miller gave this academic year as a 2019–2020 Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) program lecturer.

MORE

Expertise

Chinese art and archaeology

Ph.D., Harvard University, 2011

B.A., University of Chicago, 2003

Research Interests:

Chinese art and archaeology; early imperial court art and political culture; intellectual history of the Qin and Han dynasties; ritual; material culture; the theory and function of ornament; technical art history; aesthetics

Biography:

Allison R. Miller specializes in the art and archaeology of early China and investigates the relationship of visual forms to political history and contexts of artistic production. Her interdisciplinary research examines the form and material of Chinese art (paintings, murals, sculpture, textiles) and architecture (palaces, tombs, and temples) in relation to early aesthetics, modes of production, political and intellectual history, and archaeological contexts. Her book, Kingly Splendor: Court Art and Materiality in Han China, will be published by Columbia University Press in the fall of 2020.

Prof. Miller is currently engaged in two new research projects. The first explores early Chinese painted bronzes, reconstructing ancient materials and techniques, and reconsidering the cultural meanings of polychrome ornamentation. Her second project constructs a history of color in early China, investigating the chief dyes and pigments of China’s antiquity, the process by which they were acquired and produced, and the meanings associated with specific colors. It will not only reveal the ways that the Chinese cultivated and utilized their own mineral and vegetal resources, but also the impact of long-distance trade and exchange on aristocratic taste.

Courses:

05-014 Confucius Says: the Moral Life Examined (Freshmen Seminar)

71-024 Introduction to Art History: East Asian

71-214 Arts of China

71-224 Arts of Japan

71-234 Ancient Chinese Art and Civilization

71-254 Landscape & Environment in Chinese Art

71-264 Art in China Since 1911

71-814 Theory and Methods of Art History

71-824 Capstone Research Seminar

  • Ph.D., Harvard University, 2011

    B.A., University of Chicago, 2003

    Research Interests:

    Chinese art and archaeology; early imperial court art and political culture; intellectual history of the Qin and Han dynasties; ritual; material culture; the theory and function of ornament; technical art history; aesthetics

    Biography:

    Allison R. Miller specializes in the art and archaeology of early China and investigates the relationship of visual forms to political history and contexts of artistic production. Her interdisciplinary research examines the form and material of Chinese art (paintings, murals, sculpture, textiles) and architecture (palaces, tombs, and temples) in relation to early aesthetics, modes of production, political and intellectual history, and archaeological contexts. Her book, Kingly Splendor: Court Art and Materiality in Han China, will be published by Columbia University Press in the fall of 2020.

    Prof. Miller is currently engaged in two new research projects. The first explores early Chinese painted bronzes, reconstructing ancient materials and techniques, and reconsidering the cultural meanings of polychrome ornamentation. Her second project constructs a history of color in early China, investigating the chief dyes and pigments of China’s antiquity, the process by which they were acquired and produced, and the meanings associated with specific colors. It will not only reveal the ways that the Chinese cultivated and utilized their own mineral and vegetal resources, but also the impact of long-distance trade and exchange on aristocratic taste.

    Courses:

    05-014 Confucius Says: the Moral Life Examined (Freshmen Seminar)

    71-024 Introduction to Art History: East Asian

    71-214 Arts of China

    71-224 Arts of Japan

    71-234 Ancient Chinese Art and Civilization

    71-254 Landscape & Environment in Chinese Art

    71-264 Art in China Since 1911

    71-814 Theory and Methods of Art History

    71-824 Capstone Research Seminar

  • Books

    Miller, A. Kingly Splendor: Court Art and Materiality in Han China. New York: Columbia University Press, 2020. (Forthcoming)

    Chapters in Edited Volumes

    Miller, A.“The Han Hybrid Style: Sculpting an Imperial Utopia.” In Dialogue with the Ancients: 100 Bronzes of the Shang, Zhou, and Han Dynasties: The Shen Zhai Collection, edited by Patrick K.M. Kwok, 84-97. Singapore: Select Books, 2018.

    Journal Articles

    Miller, A.“Jade, Imperial Identity, and Sumptuary Reform in Jia Yi’s Xin Shu.” Dao: A Journal of Comparative Philosophy 15.1 (2016): 103-121.

    Miller, A.“Emperor Wen’s ‘Baling’ Mountain Tomb: Innovation in Political Rhetoric and Necropolis Design in Early China.” Asia Major (Third Series) 28.2 (2015): 1-37.

    Reviews

    Miller, A. Review of Liu Yang, ed. Beyond the First Emperor’s Mausoleum: New Perspectives on Qin Art (Minneapolis: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 2014). CAAreviews.org.

    Miller, A. Review of Dusenbury, Mary M., ed. Color in Ancient and Medieval East Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2015). Journal of the American Oriental Society 137.1 (2017): 140-142.


In the News

  • Associate Professor Allison Miller Discusses Theft of Ancient Terracotta Army Statue

    Associate Professor of Art History Allison Miller speaks with CGTN America on the theft of part of an ancient terracotta army statue worth millions.