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Elena Varshavskaya

An art historian of a broad profile, Elena Varshavskaya has two foci of interest – the arts of Japan with emphasis on ukiyo-e woodblock prints and the arts of Russia with the emphasis on the avant-garde movements. She has lectured widely on these and related topics. Her research has been centered on the treatment of the banned historical material in ukiyo-e prints published under the strict censorship regulations of the late Tokugawa period. To this theme she has devoted numerous articles and a monograph “Heroes of Grand Pacification” published by Brill, a leading European publishing house on oriental arts. Varshavskaya has a considerable curatorial experience, co-curating and curating exhibitions of ukiyo-e prints at the Hermitage Museum, Russia, at Springfield Museums, Massachusetts, and at the RISD Museum. As a teacher, Varshavskaya firmly believes in the ultimate value of first-hand art education and has elaborated and continues to lead art history academic courses in Russia (hosted by the Hermitage Museum) and in Japan.

Academic research/areas of interest

  • Ukiyo-e woodblock prints and urban culture of Japan
  • Censorship and ukiyo-e woodblock prints
  • Musha-e: warrior genre in ukiyo-e woodblock prints
  • Warring States Period and warrior culture in Japan
  • Japonisme and Russian avant-garde painting and graphic arts
  • Nomadic art of Eurasia (Scythian and Turkic) and its repercussions in Russian avant-
    garde painting
  • Oases on the Silk Road: Buddhist art, its spread eastward and history of Russian
    excavations in the region

Fall 2019 Courses

  • THAD-H454-01 Russian Art and Design
  • THAD-H791-01 Ukiyo-e Prints

Wintersession 2020 Courses

  • THAD-W525-01 *Japan: Paper, Temples & Prints

Spring 2020 Courses

  • THAD-H102-04 Thad II: Premodern Worlds
  • THAD-H102-05 Thad II: Premodern Worlds
  • THAD-H102-13 Thad II: Premodern Worlds