Photograph of Yukio Lippit

Yukio Lippit

Professor of History of Art and Architecture


East Asian Art Program

Yukio Lippit received his B.A. (1993) in Literature from Harvard University and his M.A. (1998) and Ph.D. (2003) in Art and Archaeology from Princeton University. He specializes in Japanese painting of the medieval and early modern periods. His book Painting of the Realm: The Kano House of Painters in Seventeenth-Century Japan (University of Washington Press, 2012) explores the ways in which attendant painters to the Tokugawa shogun developed a genealogical mode of painting that conditioned emerging historical views of Japanese painting. Painting of the Realm was awarded both the Charles Rufus Morey Book Award by the College Art Association and the John Whitney Hall Book Prize by the Association for Asian Studies.

 Other writings include a number of essays on Zen portraiture and ink painting of the Muromachi period, including “Of Modes and Manners in Japanese Ink Painting: Sesshū’s Splashed Ink Landscape of 1495,” which was awarded the Arthur Kingsley Porter Prize by the College Art Association in 2013. In 2007 he was co-author with Gregory P. Levine of Awakenings: Zen Figure Painting in Medieval Japan (2007, The Japan Society of New York). His current book project, titled Illusory Abode: Meaning and Materiality in Medieval Japanese Ink Painting, studies different kinds of inkwork by monk-painters, most notably apparition painting, splashed ink, and staining techniques, in relation to Zen and artistic discourse of the medieval period.

Japanese architecture constitutes another field of research and teaching. Lippit offers courses on the history of Japanese architecture and works closely with the Graduate School of Design to train students in this subject. He is co-editor along with Seng Kuan of Kenzo Tange: Architecture for the World (Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, 2012), and co-author with Mark Mulligan of The Thinking Hand: Tools and Traditions of the Japanese Carpenter (Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, Harvard University, 2014).

 Lippit is active in the museum world and is the curator of Colorful Realm: Japanese Bird-and-Flower Paintings by Itō Jakuchū (1716-1800) (The National Gallery of Art, 2012), as well as the co-author with James Ulak of Sōtatsu: Making Waves (The Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art, 2015). He is currently Johnson-Kulukundis Family Director of the Arts at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, where he helped open the Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery and curate its inaugural exhibition, teamLab at Radcliffe: What a Loving and Beautiful World (2015).