Tiger Profile: Katharine P. Burnett

Updated: May 10, 2021

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. 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 lived in Taiwan for three years, working as the Wellesley College Intern at the NPM for two years, and at the Taipei Art Guild for two years, where she served as Director for the last year. When she returned to the US, she earned her doctorate in Art History at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. She returned to Taipei for a Fulbright year of dissertation research as a doctoral student, again at the NPM. 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, where she is on the faculty. 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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