John Henry Rice, PhD

E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art at VMFA

Dr. Rice—a specialist in medieval and early modern South Indian art and architecture—joined the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in 2008, whereupon his first task was to reinstall its world-class South Asian and Himalayan collections. He received a BA in Art and Architectural History from Wesleyan University and an MA and PhD in the History of Art from the University of Pennsylvania. He has written and lectured on subjects as diverse as symbolic architecture, medieval sculpture, court painting, colonial-period printmaking, and photography. Drawn by VMFA’s exceptional holdings, Himalayan art has in recent years become a major focus for Rice. He co-curated Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment, which debuted in Richmond in 2019 and traveled to San Francisco and New York. In 2022 he curated the special VMFA exhibition—Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits—a focused retrospective and the first solo museum presentation of the Nepalese-born Tibetan American artist.