Robert Edward Gordon

PhD – History of Art, University of Arizona
MA – Art History and Theory, Arizona State University
BA – Philosophy, Arizona State University


Dr. Robert Edward Gordon is an Assistant Research Professor in the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom, an Adjunct Instructor in the Fred Fox School of Music, a Fellow at the UA Center for Buddhist Studies, and Managing Director of the Voices of Culture program. He teaches MUS 160D1 – Human Achievement & Innovation in the Arts. Trained as a philosopher and an art historian, his work encompasses a broad range of interests: Eastern art and philosophy, art and economics, freedom and aesthetics, art and poverty, and humanistic geography. With an emphasis on the epistemologies of contemporary life, his writings investigate how the meanings and ideas embedded in the world (artworks, architecture, nature) are experienced in terms of the attitudes, perceptions, and values of the individual. 

“There is something about human beings as we get older that make us want to share what we know, to help the young and others by imparting our knowledge and wisdom in order to make a better society. At root we want to share our hearts. This is also the core of both humanistic geography and art: as spaces that center human experience as the fulcrum of meaning vis-à-vis environment, and places where feelings and sentiments can find corporeal existence and privilege.” ~Robert E. Gordon

Dr. Gordon has taught art history and philosophy at various colleges and universities over the last ten years. He has lectured at large corporations and museums, and worked in Chicago as a corporate art consultant and gallery manager. Elements of his research are incorporated in the Japanese American National Museum’s Traveling Exhibition.

Professor Gordon is presently working with local museums and religious organizations on an exhibition that highlights the importance of Tibetan stupas located throughout the American Southwest. His current book project, Building for Enlightenment: A Narrative History of Buddhist Architecture in America, investigates the scriptural foundation for Buddhist architecture and its emergence in an American setting.


Select Publications

"The Philosophy of Freedom and the History of Art: An Interdisciplinary View." Philosophies 5, no.18 (Sept 2020)

"Binaries, Buddhism, and the Art of Reminders in the Work of Jacob Hashimoto." Athenaeum Review 3 (Winter 2020): 213-24.

“Special Places, Sacred Spaces: Two Traditional Buddhist Temples in Nihonmachi Los Angeles.” Space and Culture (September 2019).

“A Multi-Layered Drama” The Wall Street Journal, July 14, 2018, p. C14.

“Kim Ki-chang: The Korean Caravaggio? Empathy and Intuition in the Life of Jesus Series,” Catholic Arts Today (Benedict XVI Institute: March 2018)

“Gateway to the Top of the World: Nishi Hongwanji Los Angeles,” Japanese American National Museum Traveling Exhibit, Los Angeles, CA., 2015

“Borobudur and the Concept of Path in Buddhism,” Smarthistory – Khan Academy (online), 2014.

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1 week ago
Arizona Arts

Willa Ahlschwede of the University of Arizona Museum of Art, gives an overview of “Our Stories: High School Artists." Ends this Saturday.

Showcases artworks created by high school students from 15 schools throughout #Tucson.

#highschoolart #highschoolartist #Tucson
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3 weeks ago
Arizona Arts

Proud of you, Taylor Maresca!Taylor Maresca (BFA, '22) is the new morning reporter for WBTW News13 CBS in Myrtle Beach! This past semester Maresca earned her BFA in Musical Theatre, a BA in Communications, and double minored in Public Relations and Journalism. During her time at UArizona she worked for UATV 3 News, wrote for Arizona Daily Wildcat and wrote as a staff writer for Arizona Arts - among many other roles on and off campus.

“Being a journalist, like being an artist, is so fulfilling because everyday I get to tell stories. Stories that impact communities and inspire change." says Maresca. "I’m loving every second of being the morning reporter at News13 and connecting with the lovely community of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (even though it comes with a 2:30 a.m. wake up time 😉)."

Congratulations, Taylor! Bear Down!

Pictured: Taylor Maresca TV covering the re-opening of the Conway theatre in SC during her time as a correspondent and field reporter for WBTW News13.
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Proud of you, Taylor Maresca!

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