Jane Portal

Jane Portal studied Chinese at Cambridge and then Chinese Archaeology at Beijing University. She has worked in the British Museum since 1987, where she is Assistant Keeper in the Department of Asia, responsible for the Chinese and Korean Collections. She worked on the redisplay of the Hotung Gallery in 1992 and the accompanying British Museum Book of Chinese Art. She then studied Korean at SOAS and Yonsei University, Seoul, gaining a BA Hons in 1996. She curated the Korean Gallery, which opened in 2000 and is now working on the British Museum’s relations with China, including arranging British Museum exhibitions in China and Chinese exhibitions in the British Museum. Her next big project is the First Emperor loan exhibition from Xi’an, opening in September 2007.


‘Decorative Arts for Display’ pp 168-211 and ‘Luxuries for Trade’ (with Jessica Rawson) pp 256-292 in Jessica Rawson (ed) The British Museum Book of Chinese Art (London: British Museum Press, 1992). (Winner of the National Art Book Prize in 1993)

‘Korean Celadons of the Koryo Dynasty’ pp 98-103 in I. Freestone and D. Gaimster (eds) Pottery in the Making: Ceramic Traditions (London: British Museum Press, 1997)

Korea: Art and Archaeology (London: British Museum Press, 2000)

Chinese Love Poetry (London: British Museum Press, 2004)

North Korean Culture and Society. British Museum Research Publication 151 (ed, with Beth McKillop) (London: The British Museum, 2004)

Introduction to Qu Lei Lei Chinese Calligraphy. Standard Script for Beginners (London: British Museum Press, 2004)

Art Under Control in North Korea (London: Reaktion Books in association with British Museum Press, 2005); American edition (University of Chicago Press, 2005); Korean edition (Keelsan Books, Seoul, 2005)

Chinese Art in Detail (with Carol Michaelson)(London: British Museum Press 2006)


The First Emperor – China’s Terracotta Army (Ed.) (British Museum Press 2007)

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