Research Associate - Guest Curator
Exhibitions & Galleries: Collecting Asia: The First 50 Years, 1908 – 1958
Sara Irwin joined the staff of the Far Eastern Section of the Department of World Cultures when the Asian Galleries were on the third floor of the 1910 wing. She was collections technician for the Asian collections, (South and South East Asia, China, Korea and Japan), and her main areas of expertise include the Chinese Bronze Age material, aspects of the later Chinese decorative arts such as lacquer, ivory, snuff bottles and metalwork, and the ancient Kaifeng Jewish community.
Sara has been involved in many gallery projects and exhibitions over the years, including three versions of the Chinese galleries. She lectures on subjects related to her areas of interest and has published several popular articles and contributed to various publications on the Far Eastern Collections. Despite retiring at the end of 2009, she is still involved with projects relating to the East Asian collections, including a recent exhibit of the ROM’s South East Asian collections in the temporary exhibit space in the Sir Christopher Ondaatje South Asian Gallery. She is currently involved in a research project on an aspect of the Chinese Bronze Age collection. Through her work with all areas of the Asian collections, she came to appreciate the history of the collections and the remarkable people who were involved in their formation.