Frank L. Chance is a scholar of East Asian art. Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, he received bachelor's and master's degrees in Asian art history from the University of Kansas. After five years in Japan studying language, culture, ceramics, and tea, he entered the doctoral program in the History of Art at the University of Washington. Following two years as a research fellow at Kyoto University, he received his PhD in 1986 with a thesis on "Tani Bunchō and the Edo School of Japanese Painting.”
From 1991 to 1998, Dr. Chance was the Director of Shofuso, a Japanese House and Garden in Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, where he oversaw operations, preservation, and educational programs for a seventeenth-century style shoin and teahouse designed by Yoshimura Junzo for the Museum of Modern Art in 1952. Dr. Chance has curated exhibitions of Japanese prints at the University of Pennsylvania Museum, Haverford College Museum, and Berman Museum at Ursinus College, and the Arthur Ross Gallery at the University of Pennsylvania. He served for three years as the Far Eastern Bibliographer for the Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University. Dr. Chance has taught at several colleges and universities and was Visiting Professor of Japanese Art History at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for the 2001-2002 academic year. From 2002 until 2015 he served as the Associate Director for Academics of the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Among his recent publications is a chapter in Japan Emerging: Premodern History to 1850, edited by Karl Friday, on the pleasures of urban life in the early modern period. He has also served as a guest editor for Education About Asia, and his most recent article, published in the fall 2014 issue, was titled “Some Notes on Japanese Pirates.” He was elected Distinguished Asianist of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Association for Asian Studies in 2015.
Though his primary research has been in Japanese art, Dr. Chance has also studied the arts of China and Korea extensively. He has taught the courses East Asian Ceramics, East Asian Gardens, Buddhist Art of East Asia, Monsters of Japan, and Literati Arts of East Asia, exploring the connections between the arts of China, Korea, Japan, and other areas of Asia. His current major project is a survey textbook of Korean art, tentatively titled Korean Art: A Comparative History. Dr. Chance has traveled extensively in China and Korea as well as making visits to every prefecture of Japan. After retiring from his administrative duties, he walked the Eighty-eight Temple Pilgrimage in Shikoku in February and March 2016.