Maggie Bickford

Maggie Bickford

Maggie Bickford is Professor Emerita of the History of Art & Architecture at Brown University, where for 25 years she taught the arts of China from the Stone Age to the 20th Century. A graduate of Bennington College, she did post-graduate work in studio ceramics at Goldsmiths College School of Art, took her MA in Chinese studies at Yale and her MA and PhD in Chinese Art & Archaeology at Princeton. Among her many books and articles, Ink Plum: the Making of a Scholar-Amateur Painting Genre won the Association for Asian Studies Joseph P. Levinson Award for the best book of its year on pre-modern China. Ink Plum has just been issued in a scholarly Chinese-language edition in a series intended to share Western research with our Chinese colleagues. She also is co-editor (with Patricia Ebrey) and contributor to Emperor Huizong and Northern Song Culture: the Politics of Culture and the Culture of Politics. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Member at the School of Historical Studies, Institute for Advanced Study, a Clark Art Institute Fellow and has twice received National Endowment for the Humanities fellowships. She has made many trips to China, where she organized or led study tours for scholars in the field, museum benefactors, and private collectors. She is working on two books: The Shape of Good fortune: Auspicious Visuality in China (about how artisans and artists gave form to wishes for good outcomes in elite and popular culture) and Learning from Emperor Huizong (which shows how the Song emperors created new works to stand in for lost masterworks by the early Great Painters of China).


Maggie brought charm, intellect and excitement to the tour. Her lectures were worthwhile and enjoyable. She loved what she was doing and it fully enhanced our appreciate of the tour. 

Previous Journeys Traveler, Imperial China and the Yangtze