Kaikodo, “The Hall of Embracing Antiquity,” was the studio name in Kita-Kamakura in Japan chosen during the late 1970s by Howard and Mary Ann Rogers for their growing personal collection of Chinese paintings, ceramics, and other works of art. Howard was then Professor of Chinese Art at Sophia University in Tokyo while Mary Ann was a frequent lecturer at the University, as well as for the College Women’s Association of Japan on Chinese and Japanese art while at the same time serving as a Researcher at the Idemitsu Museum of Arts. In 1983 the Rogers established a company dedicated to the acquisition and sale of works of art of high aesthetic quality and art-historical interest and importance. They naturally named their company Kaikodo. Kaikodo rapidly became known to museum professionals in Japan and around the world as an important source for fine and rare Asian paintings and antiquities.
In order to better serve its growing clientele of institutional and private clients, Kaikodo purchased a townhouse on the upper east side of New York and in 1996, following a more than year-long renovation, opened a gallery that was described then by The New York Times as “one of the most beautiful commercial spaces” in the city. Soon after, Carol Conover, a highly respected specialist in Chinese ceramics, bronzes and works of art joined the Rogers as specialist in Chinese works of art and was soon made Director of the New York gallery. After nearly 20 years at Sotheby’s. Ms. Conover is an experienced appraiser and has worked closely with many universities, museums and private collectors in acquiring works of art, as well as serving as an expert for the State Department.
In 2005 the gallery was moved to its present space at 74 East 79th Street. Carol Conover remains in charge of gallery operations, is the main liaison with clients and associates worldwide, and assists the Rogers in the production of the Kaikodo Journal, as of Spring 2011 in its twenty-seventh issue. Kaikoko Journal is a contribution to the world of scholarly research in the field of Asian art as well as serving as a sales exhibition catalogue. In addition to pursuing new acquisitions and managing the commercial activities of Kaikodo, the Rogers have continued to contribute to the scholarly world of art history, for example, Mary Ann writing ceramic entries for the National Gallery exhibition Circa 1492: Art in the Age of Exploration, and contributing essays and entries to major exhibition catalogues while Howard contributed to the Chinese painting entries in the same National Gallery catalogue and, among other scholarly contributions, served as consulting curator and general editor of the 1998 catalogue for the Guggenheim’s China 5,000 Years, Innovation and Transformation in the Arts