Public Speaking and Art Lectures

Conversations, Public/Private, Museums Go Global, Art Basel in Miami Beach 2013. Left to right: András Szántó, Chris Dercon, Alexandra Munroe, Chus Martinez, and Patrick Charpenel. MCH Messe Schweiz (Basel) AG. © Art Basel.

Fluent in Japanese, Alexandra Munroe publishes widely and lectures frequently on Asian art in Europe, North America, and East Asia. Her speeches focus on the history of Asian art from antiquity to the contemporary period. She surveys the influence of European history on the emergence of Asian art on a transnational scale.

Previous Lectures (Selected)

“Asian Ideas and Modern American Art.” Symposium on Asian art history in the 21st century, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts (April 27–29, 2006).

“Radical Shows.” Symposium “Making a Scene: Curating East Asian Art in the U.S.,” Center for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, University of Illinois at Champagne (February 2006).

“Takashi Murakami and the Politics of Japanese Subculture.” Symposium on contemporary Japanese culture, Donald Keene Center for Japanese Culture, Columbia University, New York (April 2005).

“Art and Radicalism: The ANPO Movement, 1959–65.” Panel on art and politics in postwar Japan, Department of East Asian Studies, New York University (September 30, 2004).

“Yoko Ono Reconsidered.” In conjunction with exhibition tour, YES YOKO ONO, and presented at Mito Art Tower (October 2002); Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Contemporary Art (April 2003); and Samsung Museum of Modern Art, Seoul (June 2003).

“Modern Japanese and Chinese Art: State of the Field.” Symposium on exhibiting non-Western art in American museums, Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) (January 2002). Program director for three-day international meeting.

“Yayoi Kusama and the Japanese Avant-Garde: Reconsidering the Field.” Institute of Fine Arts, New York University (March 24, 2003).

“The Culture and Politics of Contemporary Japanese Art.” School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (October 9, 2001).

“Michiko Kon.” Aperture Gallery, New York (June 17, 1999).

“Early American Collections of Asian Art.” The Cosmopolitan Club, New York (May 12, 1999).

“Yayoi Kusama and the Japanese Avant-Garde.” Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (February 7, 1999).

“Masami Teraoka: Ukiyoe Pop.” Bell Art Gallery, Brown University, Providence (February 4, 1999).“Mariko Mori: Empty Dream.” Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (October 8, 1998).

“Art of the Chinese Cultural Revolution.” Department of History, New York University (December 3, 1997).

“Structures of the Universal: Asian Thought and Modern Art.” Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (April 27, 1997).

“Patronage and Support for the Arts in Japan.” Lecture for symposium “Fast Forward: The Contemporary Art Scene in Asia,” Asia Society, New York, and New York University (October 4–5, 1996).

“Japanese Artists and the Atomic Bomb.” Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University (February 4, 1996).

“Contemporary Chinese and Japanese Art.” Lecture for symposium at Nihon Bunka Kenkyū Center, Kyoto (February 2, 1996). [In Japanese]

“Towards Defining an Identity: Trends in Japanese Postwar Avant-Garde Art.” Lecture given in the series “Bijutsu Symposium,” Maison Franco-Japonais, Tokyo (September 30, 1995). [In Japanese]

“Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky.” In conjunction with exhibition of same name, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (June 15, 1995).

“Fluxus and the Tokyo Avant Garde: A Prescient Exchange.” In conjunction with the exhibition In the Spirit of Fluxus, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (June 2, 1994).

“Issues of Japanese Avant-Garde Art from an American Perspective.” Penrose Institute of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (February 10, 1994). [In Japanese]

“The Culture of the Japanese Avant-Garde.” In conjunction with the opening of Japanese Art After 1945: Scream Against the Sky, Yokohama Museum of Art (February 6, 1994). [In Japanese]

“Fluxus and the Tokyo Avant Garde: A Prescient Exchange.” Paper delivered at a symposium held in conjunction with the opening of In the Spirit of Fluxus, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (February 12, 1993).

“The Art and State of Criticism.” Panel discussion with Clement Greenberg, organized by Musashino University, Tokyo, at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art (December 16, 1992).

“Obsession, Fantasy and Outrage: Images of Love in Contemporary Japanese Art.” Symposium “Love Its Expression in Japanese Art and Literature,” organized by the Japan Foundation, Tokyo, in celebration of its 20th anniversary (December 2, 1992). [In Japanese]

“Japanese Art in the 20th Century: Issues of Nihonga, Yoga, and the Avant-Garde.” Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University (November 25, 1991).

Moderator, “From Star-Star to Avant-Garde: 10 Artists from China.” Symposium held in conjunction with exhibition of same title, Asian American Arts Center, New York (November 23, 1991).

“Japanese Art in Context.” In conjunction with the exhibition A Primal Spirit: Ten Contemporary Japanese Sculptors, National Gallery of Canada, Ottowa.  (September 21, 1991).

“Issues of Modern Art in Japan: Towards Defining an Art History.” Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (April 29, 1991).

“Contemporary Japanese Art in Context.” In conjunction with the exhibition A Primal Spirit: Ten Contemporary Japanese Sculptors, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.  (December 5, 1990).


  • Current affairs in Asia
  • Asian contemporary art
  • Japan, particularly during the postwar period
  • China
  • Korea
  • Myanmar
  • India
  • Museums and global strategy
  • Transnational or world art history
  • Transnationalism, decolonialism, and new models of art history

Artists and artist groups: past or current exhibition subjects

  • Ai Weiwei
  • Liu Dan
  • Cai Guo-Qiang
  • Danseakwa
  • Anish Kapoor
  • Tehching Hsieh
  • Gutai Art Association
  • Yayoi Kusama
  • Lee Ufan
  • Mono-ha
  • Daido Moriyama
  • Mu Xin
  • Motonaga Sadamasa
  • Takashi Murakami
  • Yoko Ono
  • Shiraga Kazuo
  • Hiroshi Sugimoto


Conversations, Asia Focus: Why Japanese Post-War Art Matters Now, Art Basel, Miami Beach, 2013. Moderated by Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York


Urgency and Relevance: A Curatorial Perspective, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, March 11, 2014. Moderated by Alexandra Munroe, Samsung Senior Curator of Asian Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum



To inquire about a speaking engagement

Alexandra_MunroePublic Speaking and Art Lectures