Fletcher Coleman

Visiting Teaching Professor, Asian

Fletcher Coleman


Fletcher Coleman is a specialist on the religious arts of China, whose research spans the early medieval through early modern periods. His current project examines antiquarian conventions used by Western scholars in the formation of East Asian art history as an academic discipline in the U.S. circa 1900-1955. Focusing on the practices of plaster cast collecting in the West and ink rubbing in Asia, he argues that the intersection of these traditions became a foundation for early museum restoration practices and the teaching of East Asian art in America.

Beyond his current project, Coleman has published on depictions of ascetic groups in the early Buddhist art of western China. He also has a strong interest in traditional Chinese print and papermaking practices. Coleman regularly hosts international symposia with the research academies of Buddhist cave sites, as well as artisans from acclaimed studios such as the Rongbaozhai print atelier in Beijing.

Prior to arriving at Notre Dame, Coleman was a pre-doctoral fellow for the Metropolitan Center for Far Eastern Studies, Kyoto, and a visiting international research fellow for the China Academy of Art, Hangzhou. He held positions in the Asia-Mediterranean division of the Harvard Art Museums, as well as the Houghton Rare Books Library. His previous teaching experience includes courses on Asian art, Buddhist art, and the religious arts of China at Indiana University, Bloomington, and Harvard University.


B.A., Art History and Chinese literature: Swarthmore College
M.A., Chinese Literature: University of Colorado, Boulder
Doctorate, Art History (expected 2019): Harvard University


Office Address
117 Decio Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556

Mailing Address
306 Riley Hall of Art
Notre Dame, IN 46556

ph: 574.631.5234
e: fcolema2@nd.edu