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Kyunghee Pyun

Kyunghee Pyun, PhD
Assistant Professor
212 217 4648

Dr. Pyun is a specialist of Asian art as well as European medieval art. She has been publishing on topics related to Asian-American visual culture and reception of Asian art in Europe and North America while she developed her doctoral dissertation into a book on Jean Pucelle, a French manuscript illuminator of the fourteenth century. She has organized a session entitled Rethinking “Influences” of Modern Art in Korea: Beyond Colonial Discourses at the Association for Asian Studies Annul Conference in 2009, which is part of her new book project, Modern Art on the Asian Soil: Practicing Western Art 1880–2000. Her other research interests include Global trade of decorative arts in premodern Eurasia and Americas; usage and reception of visual art in context of religious performance and liturgy; interplay of word and image; and history of art collections. Her experience of teaching a diverse range of cultural exchange between Europe and Asia has become an article, “A Journey through the Silk Road in a Cosmopolitan Classroom” in Teaching Medieval and Early-Modern Cross-Cultural Encounters Across Disciplines and Eras edited by Lynn Shutters and Karina Attar (Palgrave, 2014). She is a 2015 recipient of the Field Research Grant Korea Foundation for her upcoming book project called "Decoding Landscape in Portraiture Painting: A Crosscultural Perspective."

Before coming to FIT, Dr. Pyun taught at many colleges and universities in New York including Pratt Institute, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, Wagner College, Manhattanville College, Montclair State University, and New School University Parsons School of Design. In addition to teaching, Dr. Pyun contributes to not-for-profit organizations to support visual artists and advocate their works, especially public art projects. She is a member of the College Art Association, Alliance of American Museums, and the Association of Asian Studies. She has also developed programs and written grant proposals for the Archive of Korean-American Artists (AKAA). She is often invited to give public talks on broad topics of art and culture. She has been a curator of contemporary art since 2011 including the Lineage of Vision: Progress through Persistence held at Gallery Korea of Korean Cultural Service New York in 2014.


BA, Seoul National University; Completion of Graduate Program, College of Humanities, Seoul National University
MA and PhD, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Selected Recent Publications

“A Journey through the Silk Road in a Cosmopolitan Classroom.” A chapter in Teaching Medieval and Early-Modern Cross-Cultural Encounters Across Disciplines and Eras edited by Lynn Shutters and Karina Attar (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 53-70

Co-Editor with Anna Russakoff, Jean Pucelle: Innovation and Collaboration in Manuscript Painting (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013)

“Pucellian Influence in Illuminated Liturgical Manuscripts around 1350.” In Jean Pucell: Innovation and Collaboration in Manuscript Painting, ed. Kyunghee Pyun and Anna Russakoff (Turnhout: Brepols, 2013), pp. 171-96.

“Introduction” and “Korean Artists in New York 1955-1989.” In Coloring Time: An Exhibition from the Archive of Korean-American Artists, Part One (1955-1989) edited by Kyunghee Pyun (New York: AHL Foundation, 2013), pp. 15-22; 39-62.

“Asian Art in the Eyes of American Collectors, 1880-1920: Antimodernism and Exotic Desire.” Journal of Contemporary Art Studies 15 no. 2 (2011): 245-278.

“End of Iconography? Introducing New Trends of Iconology in Medieval Studies.” Art History and Visual Culture 9 (2010): 222-271.

“Foundation Legends in the Illuminated Missal of Saint-Denis: Interplay of Liturgy, Hagiography, and Chronicle.” Viator 39 no. 2 (2008): 143-192.

“Great Expectations: The Legacy of Teaching at Two Art Schools in New York.” Sculpture Review vol. 4 no. 1 (Spring 2006), 8-15.

“Leo Bible and the Historiography of Byzantine Manuscript Illumination.” Art History and Visual Culture 2 (2003): 148-172.

Selected Public Lectures

"Portraying Monks in Medieval Service Books." Approaching Portraiture Across Medieval Art. The 50th International Congress on Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI on 14 May 2015

“Modernism in East Asia: A Historiography.” Modernism in East Asia: Fluidity and Fragmentation. 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Comparative Literature Association in Seattle on 28 March 2015

“Aesthetics of Asian Art Collectors at the Turn of the 20th Century.” Exploring Aesthetics of Traditional Korean Art. AHL Foundation Public Lecture Series 2012 in Collaboration with Korean Cultural Service NY in New York City, 14 November 2012 (video)

“The Decorative Program of the V&A Missal of Saint-Denis and the Liturgy at the Royal Abbey in the Fourteenth Century.” New York Medieval Liturgy Group Lectures at MOBIA (Museum of Biblical Art) in New York City, 15 September 2005


  • HA 111 History of Western Art and Civilization: Ancient to Medieval
  • HA 112 History of Western Art and Civilization: Renaissance to Modern Era
  • HA 221 East Asian Art and Civilization
  • HA 225 Art and Civilization of India
  • HA 229 Korean Art and Civilization
  • HA 271 Japanese Art and Civilization
  • HA 311 Medieval Art
  • HA 383 Art of the Silk Road: Cross-Cultural Encounters (Honors)
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