Hugo Munsterberg was born in Germany, the son of the famous German Orientalist Oskar Münsterberg. He has lived in the United States since 1935, receiving his A.B. and Ph.D. degress from Harvard University, where he followed his father's footsteps by specializing in Oriental art, studying under Benjamin Rowland, Langdon Warner, and Laurence Sickman. After completing his doctoral thesis on Chinese Buddhist bronzes, he taught Oriental art first at Wellesley College and then at Michigan State College. He is now Professor of Art History at the International Christian University, Tokyo.
In addition to many articles and book reviews on the art and culture of China and Japan, he has published two books: A Short History of Chinese Art (1949) and Twentieth Century Painting: 1900--1950 ( 1951). A new book by him dealing with the history of Japanese art is now in preparation and is scheduled to be published by the Charles E. Tuttle Company in 1956.