I am compliant wit the current edition of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP), the Congressionally-recognized set of appraisal standards promulgated by the Appraisal Foundation; compliant through January 2026.


Born in Brooklyn and raised in New Rochelle, NY, I hold an M.A. in Asian art history and a Ph.D. in Japanese art history from the University of Kansas. My graduate studies, first at Columbia University, NY, then subsequently at the University of Kansas, began with training in Chinese art, which I had studied previously as an undergraduate. After several years of study at Kansas, I became inspired by the Japanese art professors there and switched my main focus to Japan. At Kansas, I completed numerous graduate-level courses in Chinese and Japanese art, and broader courses on Asian art, including connoisseurship classes held every semester at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Professors under whom I studied are among the most esteemed scholars of their disciplines: Chu-tsing Li (1920-2014; one of the first experts in the West to teach pre-modern Chinese painting and a pioneer in the appreciation and study of modern and contemporary Chinese painting); Laurence Sickman (1907-1988; Chinese art expert and former director at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City); Stephen Addiss (born 1935; expert in Japanese painting, Chinese influences on Japanese painting, and imported Chinese Zen art of the Obaku Sect); and Christine Guth (Senior Tutor Emerita for Asian art, graduate program of the Royal College of Art/Victoria & Albert Museum, London; expert in Japanese Buddhist and Shinto art, pre-modern Japanese painting, and Japanese design). My field research in Japan as a graduate student was undertaken first in 1977-78 under the tutelage of Ishizawa Masao, Director of the prestigious Museum Yamato Bunkakan in Nara, and then with Professor Tsuji Nobuo (currently director of the Miho Museum), when he taught at Tohoku University in Sendai, where I resided for 15 months. A postgraduate fellowship allowed me to conduct extensive research for my first book at Kansai University in Osaka under the guidance of Sino-Japanese studies expert, Professor Oba Osamu.

One of my missions, as a scholarly-trained appraiser, is to help private individuals understand the value of their possessions, that sometimes have monetary value in the current marketplace, and sometimes have only cultural/historic value. In recent years I have been seeing large numbers of Asian arts, household objects, letters, postcards, etc. inherited by people from family members who traveled to or resided in Asia decades ago. Only sometimes can these objects be sold; in may cases they are worth preserving and I use my connections with the scholarly community worldwide to help people find institutional homes for them to create a legacy in memory of the collectors.

I have been active as an independent Asian art appraiser and consultant since 1993, working throughout the U.S.A. and Canada for private collectors, attorneys, estate executors, insurance companies, auction houses, corporate collections, foundations, and museums. I started my appraisal business after years of professional experience as a curator in art museums and professor in universities, and following prolonged periods of research and travel in Japan (my first trip was in 1977). In 2002, I joined the Appraisers Association of America (AAA) as an Accredited Member with specialization areas covering a wide variety of Asian arts including East Asia (China, Japan, and Korea), Southeast Asia, India, and Himalaya fine arts and crafts. Although I possess broad knowledge of diverse types of Asian arts and crafts, both pre-modern and of the modern and contemporary eras, I understand that sometimes highly specialized expertise is required for adequate assessment. So, as needed, I engage a small, select group of knowledgeable expert consultant appraisers, dealers, and scholars of Indian, Himalayan, South East Asian, Chinese, and Korean fine and decorative arts, in both the USA and Asia, to work with me on individual appraising and consulting assignments. I have been a CERTIFIED MEMBER of the Appraisers Association of America in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean arts since 2009. Subsequently, I authored the AAA currently-administered certification exams for Chinese and Japanese arts. From 2014 to 2022 I have also been a member of the Washington, DC-based Appraisal Foundation’s Personal Property Resource Panel, and served as that group’s chair 2018-2020.

My approach to appraising and all my written reports meet the ethical mandates of the Appraisers Association of America and conform to guidelines established by the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). I take 7-hour  USPAP update courses every two years. My current USPAP certification is valid through January 2024.

MY LECTURING AND WRITING: In addition to advising clients on Asian art, I also lecture widely to the public, mainly about Japanese design and art, and Chinese arts imported to Japan and their collecting there.

As a scholar, I have been the recipient of various fellowships including those from the Japan Foundation Center for Global Partnership, the Asian Cultural Council (Rockefeller Brothers Fund), the Fulbright Program, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. My scholarly research focuses mainly on Japanese art, but I began my graduate school studies in Asian art with an emphasis on Chinese art history and studied Chinese language prior to learning Japanese. My ongoing scholarly research focuses on Japanese arts, aesthetics, and design from the 17th century to the present, and the connoisseurship and collecting of Chinese and Korean art in Japan. My publications include essays in museum catalogues, encyclopedias, multi-authored scholarly books, scholarly journals, and three books: Tea of the Sages, the Art of Sencha (1998; revised edition to be released soon), Faith and Power in Japanese Buddhist Art: 1600-2005 (2007), and Japanese Design: Art, Aesthetics, & Culture (Tuttle Publishing, 2014). I have several current research projects on various aspects of Japanese religious and secular art from the 17th century to the present.

DOWNLOAD MY 2-PAGE RESUME: Graham – appraising CV 2024-1