Dr. Felice Fischer, the Luther W. Brady Curator of Japanese Art and Senior Curator of East Asian Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, has just been awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Rays, by the Japanese government.
The award was presented by Ambassador Sumio Kusaka, Consul General of Japan, on February 18th of this week. Dr. Fischer received the national honor on account of “her lifetime achievement and commitment to excellence, particularly including significant contributions to mutual understanding and friendship between the United States and Japan,” said Ambassador Kusaka. Dr. Fischer is one of three to receive the Order of the Rising Sun honors this year, the other two being Senator John Davison Rockefeller IV and Ambassador Rust Macpherson Deming.
Dr. Fischer is a graduate of Barnard College and received her Ph.D. from the Department of East Asian Languages and Culture at Colombia University, specializing in classic Japanese literature. She has been a member of the curatorial staff at the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 1972 where she has organized and installed over 30 exhibitions, including Ike Taiga and Tokuyama Gyokuran: Japanese Masters of the Brush (2007, with Dr. Kyoko Kinoshita). In 2008, the catalog for that exhibition won the Art Book Award from the Association of Art Historians in Great Britain. She is currently working on a new exhibition entitled Ink and Gold, Art of the Kano, which is scheduled to open in 2015.
Dr. Fischer has also traveled extensively in Japan throughout her tenure with the museum. Over the years she has served abroad as a member of the International Advisory Panel at the Kyoto National Museum as well as a liaison at the Tokyo National Museum for the National Gallery of Art. At home she is an advisory board member of the Shōfūsō Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia, a member of the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission, Arts Dialogue Committee in Washington, D.C., and most significantly, a founding board member of the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia.
In addition to her work with the museum, Fischer has authored several works, including issues of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Bulletin. She has also served as editor on a number of Japanese- and English-language guides, such as the Phila-Nipponica: An Historic Guide to Philadelphia and Japan, which is published by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia.
For more than 40 years, Dr. Fischer has made dedicated contributions to the exchange of art and culture between the United States and Japan, and brought a level of understanding and appreciation of Japanese art specifically to the city of Philadelphia. In response to receiving her distinguished award for a lifetime of achievements, Dr. Fischer said, “I did it because I loved doing it. But to have it recognized and acknowledged in this way by the government of Japan is thrilling.”
Source: Philly.com, Americana Week