Frank Feltens, PhD

The Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art

staff photo of Frank FeltensFrank Feltens joined the curatorial staff at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, in 2017 as Japan Foundation Assistant Curator of Japanese Art and became associate curator of Japanese art in 2021. He holds a PhD in Japanese art history from Columbia University (2016). Feltens is a specialist in Japanese art with a focus on the late medieval and early modern periods. Additional interests include Japanese photography and the intersections between painting and ceramics.

Feltens has published and lectured on a range of topics related to Japanese art. Recent articles examine the painters Ogata Kōrin and Sakai Hōitsu and the photographer Domon Ken. He has written and coauthored books about Katsushika Hokusai and the Zen monk-painter Sesson Shūkei. Prior to coming to the Freer and Sackler, he held research positions at the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Asian Art in Berlin, and the Nezu Museum, as well as at the temple Sensōji in Tokyo. At the Freer and Sackler, Feltens has organized a number of exhibitions, including Mind Over Matter: Zen in Medieval Japan (upcoming) and Hokusai: Mad about Painting (2019–2021), as well as Japan Modern: Prints in the Age of Photography (2018–19), Painting the Classics (2019), and The Way of the Kami (2019). Feltens is a longtime practitioner of the Japanese tea ceremony in the Urasenke tradition and carries the honorary tea name Sōchoku. His book Ogata Kōrin: Art in Early Modern Japan (2021) was published with Yale University Press.

To contact Frank, please email Takako Sarai at:

News & Remarks

Listen to Frank Feltens’ remarks at the “Mad About Painting: Hokusai” press preview