In Memoriam - Roxanna Maude Brown

In Memoriam - Roxanna Maude Brown

Roxanna Brown with some of the ceramics recovered from sunken ships in Southeast Asia.

Brief obituary for esteemed UCLA alumna

It is with deepest sadness that we mourn the untimely death on May 14, 2008 of UCLA Art History alumna Dr. Roxanna M. Brown, 62, world-renowned expert on Southeast Asian ceramics, curator of the Southeast Asian Ceramics Museum at Bangkok University and editor of their excellent newsletter.  She died in Seattle reportedly of an infection brought on by a perforated ulcer while in federal custody on a very dubious indictment.  She had gone to Seattle to present a paper on SEA ceramics at a conference co-sponsored by UCLA and the University of Washington.  The best coverage of the tragic circumstances surrounding her arrest and death is available from the website of the Seattle Times.  Type the name "Roxanna Brown" into their search engine. 

A 2004 article about Roxanna's pathbreaking research on SEA trade ceramics is available on our website here. Roxanna's brother Fred Brown has posted a moving portrait of her early life as a reporter during the Vietnam War on YouTube.  Anyone who would like to sign a condolence letter to Roxanna's family, or a petition calling for a full investigation into the circumstances of her death, or to contribute to a fund for her family's expenses related to her death, please contact Prof. Justin McDaniel at UC Riverside <>.  Messages and photos can also be posted on a website set up by Roxanna's family at  Type in the name "Roxanna Brown".

Roxanna's many scholarly works include:

The dating and identification of Southeast Asian ceramics’. MA Thesis, University of Singapore,   1973.
‘The Ming Gap and Shipwreck Ceramics in Southeast Asia.’ PhD dissertation, University of California Los Angeles, 2004.
The ceramics of South-east Asia: their dating and identification. Kuala Lumpur:  Oxford University Press.U.P., 1977.   Reprinted Singapore: OUP 1988
(with Adrian Joseph) ed. Southeast Asian and Chinese Trade Pottery. Hong Kong: The Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong Kong. 1979.
The ceramics of South-East Asia: their dating and identification Singapore/New York : Oxford University Press, 1988.
Guandong ceramics: from Butuan and other Philippine sites. Makati, Metro Manila: Oriental Ceramic Society of the Philippines/ Oxford University Press, 1989.
(with Sten Sjostrand) Turiang: A Fourteenth Century Shipwreck in Southeast Asian Waters. Pacific Asia Museum, Los Angeles, 2000.
(with Sten Sjostrand) Maritime Archaeology and Shipwreck Ceramics in Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur: Department of Museums & Antiquities. 2002.
Some articles
 “Preliminary Report on the Koh Khram Sunken Ship”, Oriental Art 21, 1 (1975/6): 356-70.
 “Ceramics Inventory”, in Archaeological Recovery of the Java Sea Wreck, ed. William Mathers and Michael Flecker. Annapolis: Pacific Sea Resources, 1997, pp. 116-81.
 “Xuande-marked Trade Wares and the ‘Ming Gap’”, Oriental Art 43, 2 (1997a): 2-6.
 “Ceramics Inventory”, in Archaeological Recovery of the Java Sea Wreck, ed. William Mathers and Michael Flecker. Annapolis: Pacific Sea Resources, 1997b.
“Sangkhalok and Asia”, in Sangkhalok-Sukhothai-Ayutthaya and Asia, ed. Charnvit Kasetsiri. Bangkok:The Foundation for the Promotion of Social Science and Humanities textbooks Project, 2002, pp. 74-92.
 “Ming Ban-Ming Gap: Southeast Asian Shipwreck Evidence for Shortages of Chinese Trade Ceramics”, in Proceedings: Chinese Export Ceramics and Maritime Trade, 12th-15th Centuries, ed. Pei-kai Cheng, Guo Li and Chui Ki Wan. Hong Kong: Chinese Civilisation Centre, City University Of Hong Kong and City University of Hong Kong Interdisciplinary Research Project, 2005, pp 78-104.
For more info please contact:
Barbara Gaerlan

Published: Tuesday, May 20, 2008