Lesley J Kehoe BA (HONS)., MA., FRAS
Lesley J. Kehoe is recognized as one of the leading specialist Japanese Art dealers in the world. She is the most important dealer in the Southern Hemisphere and is responsible for creating a significant level of awareness of Japanese Art in Australia. Her work has contributed substantially to Australia-Japan relations and her past sponsorship of Australian netsuke carvers has seen their works acquired by the Imperial Palace in Japan. Her work with contemporary lacquer master Unryuan Kitamura Tatsuo has seen his work in the V&A London, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and in Australia’s major national institutions.
Fully fluent in Japanese language and culture, Lesley has provided consultant services at senior level for major Australian and Japanese corporations and projects, and has held academic positions at major Melbourne tertiary institutions. With an unequalled reputation for scholarship in Japanese Art she is a regular
lecturer and writer contributing internationally. This includes features in Australian and Asian print media, guest appearances on broadcast media in Asia and Australia, and lectures for private clubs, professional associations and national galleries in Australia, Britain and the USA.
Since 1986 Lesley Kehoe Galleries has participated by invitation in major exhibitions in Japan, Los Angeles, Sydney, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Melbourne, Chicago, London and New York. Lesley is an accredited Valuer for the Federal Government Arts Incentive Scheme. She has co-curated an exhibition of contemporary lacquer work at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and was the Foundation Curator of the Pauline Gandel Collection of Japanese Lacquer.
Asked to comment on her significant career, she will attribute it all to serendipity; to significant mentors in Japan; to a strong work ethic inherited from her parents; to wise advice from her German host father; a commitment to excellence; to courage and resilience and belief in a dream.
As owner and director of Lesley Kehoe Galleries, her work today, based on international reputation, concentrates on providing acquisition and curatorial services to major private collectors; to finding opportunities for young artists from both cultures; to increasing the awareness of international art in Australia, and in continuing her educational role of promoting a deeper understanding of Japanese art and culture within Australia.
“Find a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life”