Dr Sujatha Meegama and Lori Wong join The Courtauld in Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation funded roles

28 Nov 2022

The Courtauld is delighted to appoint Dr Sujatha Arundathi Meegama and Lori Wong to two new permanent Faculty roles. Dr Sujatha Meegama joins The Courtauld as the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Senior Lecturer in Buddhist Art History, and Lori Wong is the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Senior Lecturer in Conservation.

Dr Sujatha Arundathi Meegama was introduced to Buddhist art history as an undergraduate at Temple University Japan Campus, Tokyo, where she majored in Asian studies with a minor in Art History. She discovered her passion for object-based teaching while working in museum education at The Art Institute of Chicago. Along the way, she received her MA in Japanese studies from Stanford University and her doctorate in South Asian art and architecture from UC Berkeley. Editor of Sri Lanka: Connected Art Histories (Marg, 2017) Dr Meegama has published extensively, including journal articles in Artibus Asiae and Archives of Asian Art. Her forthcoming book on patronage of Buddhist and Hindu temples in Sri Lanka will be published by University of Hawai’i Press.

Dr Meegama’s current research interests range from informal shrines in modern-day Singapore to Sri Lankan ivories made for the consumption of the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. Prior to joining The Courtauld in August 2022, she ran the Art History program at Nanyang Technological, University in Singapore.

Lori Wong became acquainted with the complexities of conserving Buddhist heritage through her long-term involvement at the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, China; the Imperial Mountain Resort and its Outlying Temples at Chengde, China; and the site of Bagan in Myanmar. Her work as a conservator bridges practice and theory and explores conservation histories that move beyond Eurocentric models to reframe existing approaches and work towards more equitable processes. In doing so, she challenges and expands the ways in which cultural heritage is thought about, engaged with, and preserved.

Lori Wong joins The Courtauld from the Getty Conservation Institute with experience conserving cultural heritage in Egypt, China, Morocco, and Myanmar. She holds a double major in art history and studio art from Wellesley College, Massachusetts, a Postgraduate Diploma in the Conservation of Wall Paintings from The Courtauld, and an MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. She has authored numerous publications including, The Conservation of Cave 85 at the Mogao Grottoes, Dunhuang (Getty Publications, 2013), and is currently working on a forthcoming book, The Conservation of the Tomb of Tutankhamen (Getty Publications).

The two faculty appointments have been made possible through The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Fund which established the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Art and Conservation at The Courtauld in 2012. Joining a permanent faculty of 36 academics, the new posts build on The Courtauld’s work to develop and enrich its curriculum, research and public engagement. Lori Wong and Sujatha Meegama will have an important role in transforming teaching and research as part of the organisation’s long-term strategy to fortify its global academic reach.

The Courtauld’s Department of Conservation is one of the very few specialist centres for the training and research in fine art conservation and technical art, and dates back to the mid-1930s. The department offers three MA qualifications – in Buddhist Art History and Conservation, Conservation of Wall Paintings and the Conservation of Easel Paintings, in addition to a PhD in Conservation.

Alongside specialist work on the collections displayed in The Courtauld Gallery, the department has collaborations with national bodies including the National Trust and English Heritage, the National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, and Tate and international collaborations in China, India, Bhutan, Georgia and the eastern Mediterranean.

Dr Sujatha Mageema (L) and Lori Wong (R)
Dr Sujatha Mageema (L) and Lori Wong (R)