An historian of Chinese visual culture, Freda lived in Asia as a student and professional for more than two decades. In Taiwan she had excellent opportunities for language study and viewing masterpieces at the National Palace Museum. In China from 1997 to 2013, she worked at the Palace Museum and taught at the Central Academy of Fine Arts and at Peking University. Besides various articles on Chinese painting, she authored a book titled Poetry and Painting in Song China: The Subtle Art of Dissent (Harvard University Asia Center, 2000). In the flea markets of Beijing she collected other people’s castoffs including objects related to the Pakistani mangoes that Mao Zedong gave to workers, which led to the exhibition "Mao’s Golden Mangoes and the Cultural Revolution" (Rietberg Museum Zurich, 2013). Prior to living in Asia, Freda was Associate Curator of Asian Art at The Metropolitan Museum.
"Life is unpredictable. I went to Hong Kong on the University of California Education Abroad Program because prior fluency in the language was not required. I got utterly hooked on the Chinese language. For Chinese art history, Princeton was a wonderful place to study as much for the outstanding fellow students as for the accomplished faculty.
I have had the good fortune to mentor two exceptional art history graduate students, Madeleine Haddon and Isabela Muci Barradas. Being young and tech savvy, they have taught me a lot about internet resources and teaching on Zoom.
Go with your passion. Be sure you love your PhD topic. Writing a dissertation is difficult even if you like your subject."
I have participated in the following GradFUTURES Programs: GradFUTURES Mentorship Program