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Taylor, Paul Michael

Curator of European, Middle Eastern, and Asian Ethnology

Research anthropologist (researcher) at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History; Curator of Asian, European, and Middle Eastern Ethnology; and head of that museum’s Asian Cultural History Program. An author or editor of numerous books and scholarly articles on the ethnography, ethnobiology, linguistic anthropology, and art or material culture of Asia; curator of twenty-one museum exhibitions (including five online virtual exhibitions); and anthropologist consultant for ethnographic films.


Geographic Focus

Background And Education

Education And Training

Professional Biography

  • PAUL MICHAEL TAYLOR, a research anthropologist at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, is head of that museum's Asian Cultural History Program, and serves as Curator of Asian, European, and Middle Eastern Ethnology.  He has written or edited many books and numerous scholarly articles on the ethnography, ethnobiology, languages, and art (or material culture) of Asia.  He has also curated twenty-one museum exhibitions (including five on-line virtual exhibitions). Outside his Smithsonian work he previously served as Senior Consultant to the World Bank Inspection Panel for social safeguard policies; and also as the Director of Ethnographic Film Development for Essential TV (Overseas) Ltd to develop twelve documentary anthropological films. During his studies of rural social, ecological, and poverty-alleviation issues, and his work on documentary films, he lived for over four years in small tribal or rural villages of Southeast Asia. The recipient of numerous international grants and awards, he has served on the Board of Directors of the Association for Asian Studies, and has been a longtime member of the Smithsonian’s Asian-Pacific American Heritage Committee. He has worked closely with many individuals and community organizations to establish “Heritage” projects at the Smithsonian, including the Smithsonian’s Sikh Heritage project, Korean Heritage, Heritage of Thailand, Taiwan Heritage, and others.

Research And Grants

Publications

Selected Publications

  • Article

  • Audio-Visual Document

    • Taylor, Paul Michael. (Director). 2010. Welcoming Message in: Sound of Korea: Celebration of Korean American Day, January 13, 2010, Pt. 2, 6:30 - 8:30 pm. Washington, D.C.: Office of Policy & Analysis, and Asian Cultural History Program, Smithsonian Institution. 2010
  • Book

    • Taylor, Paul Michael, Bekkerman, Sonya, and Kovalyov, Marina. 2019. Central Asian Arts: Treasure Troves of Inspiration and Design [Exhibition catalog] New York: Russian American Foundation. In Central Asia: A Treasure Trove. 2019
    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Khazbulatov, Andrey. 2018. Artists of Modern Kazakhstan. Astana: Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan; Kazakh Research Institute of Culture. 2018
    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Kwon, Myoung-won,. 2018. Han'gŭl ŭl kŭrida : Sejong Taewang chŭgwi 600-chunyŏn kinyŏm = A Korean-American Pioneer of Art: The Calligrapher Mook Jae and his Homelands [Exhibition catalog] Seoul, Korea: National Hangeul Museum. 2018
    • de Clercq, F. S. A. and Taylor, Paul Michael. 2018. Ternate: The Residency and its Sultanate. Washington, DC: Asian Cultural History Program, Smithsonian Institution. 2018
    • Bayramova, Keyik, Pontsioen, Robert, Balayeva, Jeren, and Taylor, Paul Michael. 2017. Durdy Bayramov: Life, Art, and Legacy. Toronto: Durdy Bayramov Art Foundation. 2017
    • Pyragy, Magtymguly and Taylor, Paul Michael. 2014. Magtymguly: Poems from Turkmenistan. Washington, D.C.: Asian Cultural History Program. 2014
    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Pontsioen, Robert. 2014. Sikhs: Legacy of the Punjab. Washington, D.C.: Asian Cultural History Program. 2014
    • Taylor, Paul Michael, Merrion, Trevor, Waugh-Quasebarth, Jasper, and Pontsioen, Robert. 2014. Undiscovered Art from the Korean War: Explorations in the Collection of Chester and Wanda Chang. Washington, D.C.: Asian Cultural History Program. 2014
    • Taylor, Paul Michael, Merrion, Trevor Loomis, Smith, William Bradford, and Quasebarth, Jasper Waug. 2013. Turkmenistan: Arts from the Land of Magtymguly= Türkmenistan : Magtymgulynyn mekanyndan sungat. Washington, D.C.: Asian Cultural History Program. 2013
    • Taylor, Paul Michael, Polglase, Christopher R., Museyibli, Najaf, Koller, Jared M., and Johnson, Troy A. 2011. Past and future heritage in the pipelines corridor: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey = Boru kämärläri dählizindä keçmis vä gäläcäk irs: Azärbaycan, Gürcüstan, Türkiyä. Washington, D.C.: Asian Cultural History Program, Smithsonian Institution. 2011
    • Taylor, Paul Michael, Polglase, Christoper R., Museyibli, Najaf, Koller, Jared M., and Johnson, Troy A. 2011. Past and future heritage in the pipelines corridor: Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey = Kulturuli memkvidreobis zeglebi milsadenebis derep`ansi, carsuli da momavali: Azerbaijani, Sak`art`velo, T`urk`et`i. Washington, D.C.: Asian Cultural History Program, Smithsonian Institution. 2011
    • Taylor, Paul Michael, Merrion, Trevor Loomis, Waugh-Quasebarth, Jasper, and Smith, William Bradfor. 2011. Turkmenistan: Ancient Arts Today. Washington, D.C.: Asian Cultural History Program, Smithsonian Institution. 2011
    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Lotis, Christophe. 2008. Flagship of a Fleet: A Korea Gallery Guide. Washington, DC: Asian Cultural History Program, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution. 2008
  • Chapter

    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Dhami, Sonia. 2022. "Collecting the Arts of the Punjab: Art and Identity for the Sikh Diaspora in Singapore and Beyond." In Sikhs in Singapore -- A Story Untold. Yong, Tan Tai, editor. 18–347. Singapore: Indian Heritage Centre. 2022
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2022. "Introduction." In Splendors of Punjab Heritage: Art from the Khanuja Family Collection. Taylor, Paul Michael, editor. 13–23. New Delhi, India: Roli Books. 2022
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2022. "The Critical Role of Museums and Heritage Sites in Times of Disaster." In Museum Interpretation in Times of Disaster: Museum Education, Exhibition and Public Programs in the New Normal. ASEAN Museum Congress Proceedings, 26 to 28 October 2021. Medina, Marcos and Labrador, Ana Maria Theresa, editors. 4–15. Manila, Philippines: National Museum of the Philippines and ASEAN Committee on Culture and Heritage. 2022
    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Shalabayeva, Gulmira. 2020. "Introduction." In Kazakhstan's Crafts and Creative Economy. Taylor, Paul Michael and Shalabayeva, Gulmira, editors. 5–11. Almaty, Kazakhstan: Kasteyev State Museum of Arts. 2020
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2020. "The Importance of Archival Study for Crafts Research in Legacy Museum Collections." In Kazakhstan's Crafts and Creative Economy: Proceedings of an International Symposium. Taylor, Paul Michael and Shalabayeva, Gulmira, editors. 18–27. Almaty, Kazakhstan: Kasteyev State Museum of Arts. 2020
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2019. "Introduction." In The Japji of Guru Nanak: A New Translation with Commentary (by) Rupinder S. Brar. 6–14. Washington, DC: Asian Cultural History Program, Smithsonian Institution. 2019
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2017. "Exhibiting the Kapany Collection: Observations on the Transformation of Sikh Art and Material Culture in Museums." In Sikh Art from the Kapany Collection. Taylor, Paul M. and Dhami, Sonia, editors. 286–309. Palo Alto: The Sikh Foundation. 2017
    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Dhami, Sonia. 2017. "Introduction: Art By, For, or About the Sikhs." In Sikh Art from the Kapany Collection. Taylor, Paul M. and Dhami, Sonia, editors. 8–15. Palo Alto: The Sikh Foundation. 2017
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2017. "The Artistic Legacy of Durdy Bayramov: A New Museum's Important Mission." In Durdy Bayramov: Life, Art, and Legacy. Bayramova, Keyik, Pontsioen, Robert, and Balayeva, Jeren, editors. 208–214. Toronto: Durdy Bayramov Art Foundation. 2017
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2015. "Current Research about the Ethnography of Chokan Valikhanov, and about Turkic or Central Asian Cultural History and Cultural Memories, at the Asian Cultural History Program of the Smithsonian Institution." In Kazakhting uly ghalymy, tarikhshy, etnograf, saiakhatshy zhene aghartushy Sh. Ualikhanovtyng 180 zhyldygyna arnalghan “Shokan Okulary-19” Khalykaralik ghylymi-tezhiribelik konferentsiia: Materialdary, 17-18 seuir (Tom 1). Abzhapparov, A. A., editor. 284–288. Kokshetau, Kazakhstan: Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Kazakhstan and Kokshetau State University. 2015
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2015. "Durdy Bayramov's Photographs as Visual Documents of Cultural History." In Through the Eyes of Durdy Bayramov: Turkmen Village Life, 1960s-1980s. Bayramova, Keyik, Pontsioen, Robert, and Balayeva, Jeren, editors. 7–8. Toronto: Durdy Bayramov Art Foundation. 2015
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2015. "The Presentation of Historical Materials about Kazakhstan in Online Formats: Observations on the Occasion of the Celebration of the 550th Anniversary of the Kazakh Khanate." In "From the Kazakh Khanate to independent Kazakhstan" international research and practice conference: Proceedings May 22-23, 2015. 13–18. Astana, Kazakhstan: Institute of State History, Kazakhstan Academy of Sciences. 2015
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2014. "Exploring the Scientific and Artistic Legacy of Chokan Valikhanov (1835-1865), in Partnership with Kazakhstan's Museums." In Proceedings of the International Conference "Abylai Khan and His Historical Epoch in Kazakhstan". Abyev, K. K., editor. 25–32. Kokshetau: Kokshetau State University. 2014
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2014. "Past and Present: Revising Ancient "Hyangga" Poetry for Audiences Today." In Scent of the Ancient: Invitational Exhibition Celebrating Hangul's 568th Anniversary. Kwon Myoung-won, editor. 4–5. Washington, D.C.: Korean Cultural Center. 2014
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2014. "Preface to the English Translation." In Magtymguly: Poems from Turkmenistan. Taylor, Paul Michael, editor. 10–12. Washington, D.C.: Asian Cultural History Program. 2014
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2014. "The Online Publication of Archaeological Records and Other Archival and Museum Collections on Cultural Heritage." In "Experience of Turkmenistan in Research and Museumification of Archeological Findings". Abstract of Reports of the International Scientific Conference (November 12-14, 2014). 9–11. Ashgabat: Turkmenistan Ministry of Culture. 2014
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2013. "In Celebration of Hangul Day 2013: The Accessible Calligraphy of “Mook Jae” Kwon Myoung-won." In Celebrating Hangul’s 567th Anniversary: Come on in, the Door is Open: An exhibition of Hangul Calligraphy by Kwon, Myoung Won. 3–4. Washington, D.C.: Korean Cultural Center. 2013
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2013. "The World’s Biggest Dream, and its “Biggest Painting"." In The Biggest Painting in the World, in Washington D.C., Oct. 27th – Nov. 3rd, 2013. 5. Suwon (Gyeonggi Province), Korea and Arlington, VA: Gyeonggi Provincial Office of Education and Korean Heritage Foundation. 2013
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2012. "Introduction: Perspective's on the Punjab's Most Meaningful Heirlooms." In Sikh Heritage: Ethos and Relics. Singh, Bhayee Sikandar and Singh, Roopinder, editors. viii–xi. New Delhi: Rupa. 2012
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2011. "For Washingtonians, the Global Gets a Local Welcome: Four Artists Intersect at Washington D.C.’s Korean Cultural Center." In Peace: A Four-Artist Invitational Exhibit at the Korean Cultural Center, Washington DC.. Kwon, Myoung-won, editor. 7–7. Washington, D.C.: Korean Art International Exchange Association and Korean Cultural Center. 2011
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2011. "Foreword." In Symbols of Identity: Korean Ceramics from the Collection of Chester and Wanda Chang. Lotis, Christopher and Lee, Michel D., editors. 6–6. Washington, D.C.: Asian Cultural History Program, Smithsonian Institution. 2011
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2011. "Pipelines to Cultural Heritage: An Introduction." In Pipelines to Cultural Heritage: Proceedings of an International Workshop (April 20-23, 2010, Baku, Azerbaijan). Taylor, Paul Michael, editor. 1–6. Washington, D.C.: Asian Cultural History Program, Smithsonian Institution. 2011
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2010. "The Korean Calligraphy of Sandol Cho Young-Sun." In Harmony with Korean calligraphy & cuisine. 3. Washington, DC: Korean Cultural Service. 2010
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2009. "Science, Tradition, and Innovation in the Contemporary Museum: Perspectives from a Museum Partnership Between the United States of America and Kazakhstan." In Sovremennyi Muzei: Nayka. Traditsii. Innovatsii : Materialy Mezhdunarodnoi nauchnoi-prakticheskoi konferentsii. 13–18. Astana, Kazakhstan: Qazakstan Respublikasy Tungghush Muzeii Sovremennyi. 2009
    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Ian, N. Parker. 2007. "Cac chu'o'ng trinh tao tac tronh viec ho tro phat trien bao tang, dien hinh la chu'o'ng trinh van hoa lich su chau a cua Smithsonian." In Ky Yeu Hoi Thao Quoc Te : phat trien bao tang lich su tu nhien thanh pho Ho Chi Minh, Ngay 12-15.9.2007. 235–246. Viet Nam Union of Science and Technology Associations (and) Ho Chi Minh City People's Committee. 2007
    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2007. "Congratulatory Message." In Washington Korea Festival 2007. 4. The Korea Foundation. 2007
    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Ian, N. Parker. 2007. "Integrated curatorial programs in support of museum development: the example of the Smithsonian's Asian Cultural History Program." In Proceedings: International Conference: Development of Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Natural History, September 12-15, 2007. 249–259. Viet Nam Union of Science and Technology Associations. 2007
    • Taylor, Paul Michael, Houchins, Chang-Su, and Kim, Hee-soo. 2007. "The Korea Gallery at the National Museum of Natural History." In Washington Korea Festival 2007. 10–32. The Korea Foundation. 2007
  • Conference Paper

    • Taylor, Paul Michael. 2018. "Introduction (Pipelines to Cultural Heritage)." from Proceedings of an International Conference on Archaeology in the BTC-SCP Pipeline. 1–11. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution. 2018
    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Koller, Jared M. 2012. "Web-enriched heritage in the pipelines corridor: contested histories from the Caspian to the Mediterranean." from Museums and the Web 2012. (San Diego, California) April 11-14, 2012. 2012
  • Webpage

Editor Of

  • Book

    • Taylor, Paul Michael, editor. 2022. Splendors of Punjab Heritage: Art from the Khanuja Family Collection. 1st ed. New Delhi, India: Roli Books. 2022
    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Pyong, Chonghung, editors. 2021. Byun Shiji: The Light and the Wind of the Times. Seoul, Korea: Byun Joung Hoon. In Byun Shi-ji Artbook Series. 2021
    • Taylor, Paul Michael, Pyong, Chonghun, and Song, Chonghui, editors. 2021. Shiji: jidai no hikari to kaze ni ishi o kizamu [時志 : 時代の光と風に意志を刻む.]. Seoul: Byun Joung Hoon. In Byun Shi-ji Artbook Series, 2. 2021
    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Shalabayeva, Gulmira, editors. 2020. Kazakhstan's Crafts and Creative Economy: Proceedings of an International Symposium. Almaty, Kazakhstan: Kasteyev State Museum of Arts. 2020
    • Taylor, Paul Michael and Dhami, Sonia, editors. 2017. Sikh Art from the Kapany Collection. Palo Alto: The Sikh Foundation (in association with the Asian Cultural History Program, Smithsonian Institution. 2017
    • Taylor, Paul Michael, editor. 2011. Pipelines to Cultural Heritage: Proceedings of an International Workshop (April 20-23, 2010, Baku, Azerbaijan). Washington, D.C.: Asian Cultural History Program, Smithsonian Institution. 2011

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