Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University
Gennifer Weisenfeld is Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University. Her field of research is modern and contemporary Japanese art history, design, and visual culture. Her first book Mavo: Japanese Artists and the Avant-Garde, 1905-1931 (University of California Press, 2002) addresses the relationship between high art and mass culture in the aesthetic politics of the avant-garde in 1920s Japan. And her most recent book Imaging Disaster: Tokyo and the Visual Culture of Japan’s Great Earthquake of 1923 (University of California Press, 2012, Japanese edition, Kantō Daishinsai no Sōzōryoku: Saigai to Fukkō no Shikaku Bunkaron, Seidosha, forthcoming 2014) examines how visual culture has mediated the historical understanding of Japan’s worst national disaster of the twentieth century. In addition to co-editing the volume Crossing the Sea: Essays on East Asian Art in Honor of Professor Yoshiaki Shimizu, with Gregory Levine and Andrew Watsky (Princeton University Press, 2012), she has written numerous journal articles, including several on the history of Japanese design, such as, “‘From Baby’s First Bath’: Kaō Soap and Modern Japanese Commercial Design” (The Art Bulletin, September 2004) and the core essay on MIT’s award-winning website Visualizing Cultures on the Shiseido company’s advertising design. She is currently working on a new book on the history of Japanese advertising and commercial design titled The Fine Art of Persuasion: Corporate Advertising Design, Nation, and Empire in Modern Japan.