Department of History of Art and Archaeology

Professor Timon Screech

Key information

Department of History of Art and Archaeology Emeritus Professor of the History of Art Member, Centre for Gender Studies Japan Research Centre Emeritus Research Associate Food Studies Centre Member, SOAS Food Studies Centre
Department of History of Art and Archaeology
MA(Oxon) MA PhD(Harvard)
Email address


Art history; social history; history of the East-West relations. Japanese visual culture; Edo period painting and prints; the Dutch Studies movement; Japanese language and culture of the Edo period; history of science and scientific illustration in Japan with reference to East West contact; urban history of Japan; history of Japanese art; sexual history of Japan.; contacts between Japan and Europe in the early modern period.

Research interests

Current research

Timon Screech's main current research is related to the history of the English East India Company in Japan, and especially its dealings in works of art. He is book on the subject, The Cargo of the New Year's Gift: Paintings from London for Asian Rulers, 1615, is now reaching completion. He is also studying the deification of the first shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu, and the cult established for him at Nikko. His major study of the arts of the early-modern period, Obtaining Images, Art, Production and Display in Edo Japan, was published in 2012.


Timon Screech received a BA in Oriental Studies (Japanese) at Oxford University in 1985 and completed his PH.D in Art History at Harvard University in 1991. He has been at SOAS since graduation from Harvard. He has published widely on many aspects of Edo period art and culture, and has written several books in Japanese and English. He has also been visiting professor of Art History at the University of Chicago, and guest researcher at Gakushuin and Waseda Universities in Tokyo. He was elected to a Chair in the History of Art in 2006.

PhD Supervision

Name Title
Ms Naama Eisenstein Reshaping Ideals: Visualising the Genpei War (1180-1185) in Early Modern Japan
Ms Ai Fukunaga A Different Type of Tea? British Collecting of Ceramics for Tea gatherings from Meiji Japan: the British Museum and Maidstone Museum Collections
Yijin Kim Art for the people and democracy: Socio-political Art Movements in Japan from the 1920s to the early 1930s
A Ram Park A Comparative Study of Women's Buddhist Patronage in Joseon Korea and Edo Japan
A Ram Park Alms for the Path of Awakening and Liberation: A Comparative Study of Korean and Japanese Elite Women's Buddhist Patronage, 1200-1700.
Dr Lesley S Pullen
Nicole Valentova Art as a Tool: Comparative Study of the Centralisation and Manipulation of the Art Scene in Japan in the 1900s and in Korea in the 1920s
Mr Kulamitra David Zukas Revealing the Religious Landscape at Bhaja, Bedsa and Karle, Buddhist Rock-cut Monasteries


Contact Timon