Carol Michaelson


Department: Asian 


+44 (0)20 7323 8431

Carol has degrees in Western history and Chinese language and culture and has worked in the British Museum since 1990 where she curates Chinese jades, bronzes and early lacquer. She was responsible for the opening of the gallery showcasing  Chinese jades in November 2002.  Carol researches, publishes and lectures on early China generally.

Current projects:  Carol is working with Margaret Sax of the Department of Conservation  and Scientific Research on papers relating to the chronology of jade tool working and a possible methodology for dating Chinese jade. 

Current projects

Researching Chinese jades and organizing new departmental initiatives with regard to the Chinese collections as a whole.

Acting as consultant to other Museums who are exhibiting material from the time of the First Emperor and the Han dynasty (most recently in Sweden in 2011, Finland in 2013 and Denmark, 2015).

External fellowships/ honorary positions/ membership of professional bodies

Member of the Oriental Ceramic Society finance committee

Trustee of the Sassoon Ivory Trust

Member of the British Association of Chinese Studies

Recent publications

Carol Michaelson and Jane Portal, Chinese Art Close up, BMP, 2014

Michaelson, Carol, China’s Terracotta Army, Ostasiatiska Museet, Stockholm, 2010.  46 entries and an essay in the catalogue of an exhibition organized in Stockholm, Sweden, Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities. Pps. 38-47, 48-77, 144-185

Michaelson, Carol.  “China’s Terracotta Army goes Underground in Stockhom”, Orientations, vol. 41, number 8, November/December 2010, pp. 97-102

A History of the Stein and Central Asian Digitisation Project at the British Museum”,in  Sir Aurel Stein, Colleagues and Collections, British Museum Research Publication 184, 2012, ISBN 978-086159-1848

Michaelson, Carol. “A History of the Chinese Jade Collection in the British Museum”, Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society, Woolf Jade Lecture, (Part 1)), vol. 75, 2010-2011,  pp. 65-81

Michaelson, Carol, (editor): The Terracotta Army and Treasures of the First Emperors of China, entries and essays, Vapriikii Museum, Tampere, Finland, exhibition catalogue, 2013                                                                                                     

Michaelson, Carol. “An Outline History of Collecting Chinese Jade in the UK”,  The Woolf Collection of Chinese Jade,  London, 2014,  pp. 36-47

Michaelson, Carol.  “The Story behind the British Museum’s Spectacular Exhibition on the First Emperor of China”, Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong Bulletin, pp. 17-22, 2015.