Kaikodo, “The Hall of Embracing Antiquity,” was the studio name in Kita-Kamakura in Japan given in the 1970s to Howard and Mary Ann Rogers by their mentor, Cheng Chi, 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 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 Asian 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 collectors, Kaikodo purchased a townhouse on the Upper East Side of New York and in 1996, following a 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.” Arnold Chang joined the team for several years, adding strength to Kaikodo’s Chinese painting department, and very early on Carol Conover, a highly respected specialist in Chinese works of art, and along with Arnold a long-time member of Sotheby’s staff in New York, joined Kaikodo and was made Director of the New York gallery. In 2005 the gallery moved to 74 East 79th street where numerous special exhibitions continued to be mounted year round and Kaikodo remained a vibrant gathering place for professionals and amateurs in the field alike.
In 1996 the Rogers also published the first issue of Kaikodo Journal, an ongoing publication that would be lauded over subsequent years for its contributions to the world of scholarly research in the field of Asian art. Highlighting not only the works of art in their sales exhibitions, Kaikodo Journal was a venue for scholars—museum curators, professors, critics and students—for publishing their current work. Beginning with the Spring 2016 issue, Kaikodo Journal became an exclusively online publication. Throughout their lives as teachers, collectors and dealers, the Rogers themselves have always contributed to the scholarly world of art history, not only through Kaikodo Journal but through their contributions to major museum publications, numerous articles published in the field’s well-known periodicals, and lecturing and participating in conferences devoted to Asian art.