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Tiger Profile: Katharine P. Burnett



Katharine P. Burnett, Founding Director, Global Tea Initiative for the Study of Tea Culture and Science; Professor, Chinese Art History, Department of Art and Art History, University of California, Davis

Katharine “discovered” China in a Chinese Art History class her junior year at Wellesley College. A classmate encouraged her to study Chinese, which she did with Helen Lin her senior year in college. With Mrs. Lin’s encouragement, she attended the Middlebury Chinese Summer Language Program and then, again with Helen Lin’s encouragement, lived in Taiwan for three years, working for two of those years as the Wellesley College Intern at the National Palace Museum and head of the Taipei Art Guild.


When Katharine returned to the US, she earned her doctorate in Art History at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. Katharine has added the study of tea culture to her repertoire, and serves as Founding Director of the Global Tea Initiative for the Study of Tea Culture and Science at University of California Davis. Katharine’s publications include Dimensions of Originality: Essays on Seventeenth-Century Chinese Art Theory and Criticism, and Shaping Chinese Art History: Pang Yuanji and His Painting Collection.

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