Linking Collection and Curriculum: Meher McArthur


Photo by Deanie Nyman.

It is a great pleasure to announce the appointment of Meher McArthur as the first Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler curator of academic programs and collections. To enhance teaching across the curriculum, she will develop programs that engage faculty and students in the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery exhibitions and the Scripps permanent collection, which are rich resources for learning.

Meher is an accomplished author, curator, and educator with an expertise in Asian art. Her museum experience and scholarship prepare her to illuminate and interpret much of the Scripps permanent collection, which includes ceramics, painting, and decorative objects from China,

Korea and Japan. Her books include Gods and Goblins: East Asian Books (1998); Japanese Folk Paintings from Otsu (2000); Reading Buddhist Art: An Illustrated Guide to Buddhist Signs and Symbols (2004); The Arts of Asia: Materials, Techniques, Styles (2005); Japanese and Buddhist and Shinto Prints: From the Collection of Manly P. Hall (2005); Confucius, 2010; Folding Paper: The Infinite Possibilities of Origami (2013); Nature, Tradition and Innovation: Contemporary Japanese Ceramics from the Collection of Gordon Brodfuehrer (2016); and New Expressions in Origami Art (2017). As the former curator of East Asian Art at the Pacific Asia Museum, as well as creative director of the Storrier Stearns Japanese Garden in Pasadena, Meher has curated many exhibitions. In addition to writing about art for Artillery and Orientations, she is also a regular contributor on art and culture online for KCET’s Artbound.

Meher has also taught undergraduate courses in East Asian ceramics at the University of Southern California and in Japanese prints at Scripps. She taught a master’s course in Asian art and connoisseurship for Sotheby’s Institute Art Business Program. Her teaching at Scripps and for Sotheby’s allowed her to delve deeply into the Scripps collection of Asian art and familiarize herself with the works contained therein.

The newly endowed position of curator of academic programs and collections that Meher will take on was made possible by the generosity of distinguished Scripps alumna and former trustee, Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler, whose thoughtful philanthropy reflects her long-standing interest in architecture, art, education, and history. Her visionary and strategic gifts to Scripps have bolstered the College in many ways. In addition to earlier donations of faculty endowments, student scholarships, and a residence hall, Mrs. Jungels-Winkler recently created three endowed positions in her name, each of which will strengthen art history and the humanities at Scripps. These positions include the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler: chair of architecture and art history; director of the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery; and curator of academic programs and collections.

The curatorial position will reinforce the linkage of art history and humanities and make the permanent art collection a more accessible resource for teaching across the curriculum. These gifts again reaffirm Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler’s conviction that an in-depth knowledge and appreciation of the arts, architecture, and humanities—which inform and illuminate many disciplines—is at the heart of a Scripps education.