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William R. Sargent

Independent Scholar and Consulting Curator for Asian Export Art; Salem, Massachusetts

For over thirty-two years, William R. Sargent served as H. A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art at the Peabody Essex Museum, a collection considered the largest and most comprehensive of its type in the nation. Prior to his work there, Mr. Sargent worked as a curator at the Huntington Museum of Art in West Virginia. Currently, Mr. Sargent serves as Senior Consultant in Chinese Art with Bonhams, as a Consulting Curator at the Asian Civilisations Museum of Singapore, and as Museum Expert Adviser (Historical Pictures) at the Hong Kong Museum of Art.

After receiving his B.F.A in Ceramic Design from Massachusetts College of Art, he received his M.A. in Art History from Marshall University. He attended the Winterthur Summer Institute, the Attingham Summer School, and received two International Partnership Among Museums (IPAM) Awards.

Mr. Sargent has delivered hundreds of lectures throughout the United States, Australia, Canada, England, Portugal, France, the Netherlands, Sweden, China, Macau, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Publications include exhibition catalogs on American art and contemporary prints before he focused on Asian export arts. He has contributed over 35 essays on Asian export art to various publications, including Chinese Ceramics: Neolithic to Qing (Yale University Press, 2010).

His books include The Copeland CollectionViews of the Pearl River DeltaChinese Porcelain in the Conde Collection, and Treasures of Chinese Export Ceramics from the Peabody Essex Museum, which in 2013 received the American Ceramic Circle Book Award 2013.

Mr. Sargent has consulted for over thirty museums, including the National Palace Museum in  Taiwan, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, the Worcester Art Museum, the Asian Civilisations Museum, the Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Richmond Museum of Art, and the Brooklyn Museum.