Phillip E. Bloom

Phillip E. Bloom
June and Simon K.C. Li Curator of the Chinese Garden & Director of the Center for East Asian Garden Studies
Department: Botanical, Asian Gardens

As curator of The Huntington's Chinese Garden, Phillip E. Bloom seeks to shape the garden's intellectual and cultural life by interpreting it through tours, lectures, and exhibitions and by enlivening it with public programs, concerts, and an annual artist's residency. He is a specialist in the history of gardens, designed landscapes, and Buddhist art and ritual of China's Song dynasty (960–1279). He received his Ph.D. in Chinese art history from Harvard University in 2013. Prior to joining The Huntington in 2017, he served as assistant professor of East Asian art history at Indiana University, Bloomington, and completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Tokyo.

Dr. Bloom has curated and co-curated exhibitions introducing the calligraphy of the Chinese Garden, "Garden of Words: The Calligraphy of Liu Fang Yuan", as well as the work of The Huntington's resident artists, "Tang Qingnian: An Offering to Roots." He is currently working on exhibitions that will investigate the design and construction of The Huntington’s Chinese Garden and the experimental functions of scholars’ gardens in premodern China. Several of his recent lectures on Chinese garden history and garden arts can be viewed online: "A Garden of Words: Calligraphy and The Huntington's Chinese Garden," "Potted Scenes: Penjing at The Huntington and in History," and "The Pleasures of Chinese Gardens."


Transplanting Suzhou: The Huntington's Garden of Flowing Fragrance (Liu Fang Yuan), Orientations (2020)

Reading the Chinese Garden, Huntington Frontiers (2018)

The Mediating Body: Text, Image, and Ritual in the Cave of Perfect Enlightenment at Baodingshan, Dazu, Archives of Asian Art, (2018)

Ghosts in the Mists: The Visual and the Visualized in Chinese Buddhist Art, ca. 1178, The Art Bulletin (2016)


Posted on Feb. 26, 2020
Liu Fang Yuan 流芳園, The Huntington’s Chinese Garden. Photo by John Sullivan. In his memoirs, Chrétien-Louis-Joseph de Guignes (1759–1845), who served as a French functionary in Guangzhou (Canton)…
Posted on Jan. 16, 2019
Terrace that Invites the Mountain 邀山臺 (Yao Shan Tai), 2007, by Terry Yuan (Yuan Zhizhong 袁志鍾, b. 1954 in Shanghai). Calligraphy written in semi-cursive script (行書), ink on paper, 68.5 x 35 cm. The…


Posted on Dec. 28, 2018

The garden's curator contemplates its poetry. With the start of the final phase of the Chinese Garden’s construction, we asked the garden’s curator, Phillip E. Bloom, who joined The Huntington in September 2017, to reflect on two of the initial features installed in 2008...