Dr. Wen-Chien Cheng Appointed ROM’s Louise Hawley Stone Chair of East Asian Art

Janet Carding, Director & CEO of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), announced today the appointment of Dr. Wen-Chien Cheng as the new Louise Hawley Stone Chair of East Asian Art effective October 3, 2011. Dr. Cheng will be responsible for developing a dynamic program of collection-based scholarship through acquisitions, permanent and temporary exhibits; will participate in public programs and public outreach; and will undertake an active program of research leading to publication and presentation of work in peer-reviewed scholarly outlets.

Dr. Cheng’s museum experience spans nearly a decade, primarily focused in a research capacity with the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA). Dr. Cheng received her Ph.D. in the History of Art at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan with a specialty in Chinese painting. She holds a postdoctoral fellowships from the J. Paul Getty Foundation and Smithsonian Institution respectively.

“The selection of Dr. Cheng marks a distinguished addition to our curatorial ranks,” said Janet Carding, ROM Director & CEO. “The prestigious appointment of an endowed chair presents the ROM with a unique opportunity to engage the public with our renowned collection of East Asian art and artifacts, and enhances our ability to continue to connect with East Asian communities both near and afar.”

Dr. Cheng is the second individual to hold the position of Louise Hawley Stone Chair of East Asian Art. Established in 1995, the position is granted to a candidate who has demonstrated the ability to serve as a distinguished curator and interpreter of major aspects of the ROM’s East Asian Collection. The position is reserved for an eminent and internationally recognized scholar in the broad field of East Asian Studies, including specialization in Chinese art and material culture from late dynastic periods (post-Han).

“I look forward to my full engagement in promoting the ROM's world-class East Asian art collection through dynamic exhibitions and actives.” said Dr. Cheng.

Prior to joining the ROM, Dr. Cheng was the co-curator and catalogue co-author for the exhibition Looking Both Ways: A Contemporary Art Exhibition, coinciding with the Centennial of the Xinhai Revolution. Prior to that she was guest curator and catalogue author for the exhibition, Tradition Transformed: Chang Ku-nien, Chinese Master Painter of the 20th Century in 2010 at the UMMA and which subsequently traveled to China in Fall 2010. Dr. Cheng has also taught Asian art history at the University of Michigan and Pennsylvania State University at University Park.

About the ROM’s East Asian Collections
The ROM’s collection of East Asian exceeds 60,000 objects, one of the most comprehensive collection in the world and covering regions of China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asian, and including artifacts dated from prehistoric period to modern time. The collection was established in early last century through early collectors like George Crafts, William Charles White, and Dr. James Menzies. Bishop White, a Canadian Anglican missionary in China (active 1909-1934), became the first Keeper of East Asian collection at the ROM. Since then, the ROM’s curatorial position has been held by a succession of East Asian scholars.

About Louise Hawley Stone
The late Louise Hawley Stone (1904-1997) was a passionate supporter of the ROM for over 50 years. A collector of Asian art and a student of Far Eastern studies, Mrs. Stone gave much of herself to the ROM, serving on its Board of Trustees, spearheading several initiatives and volunteer committees and donating many important pieces to the ROM’s collections. In 1994, she generously established the ROM’s first fully endowed curatorial chair: The Louise Hawley Stone Chair of East Asian Art.

Mrs. Stone’s greatest legacy to the ROM was the establishment of a charitable trust of $49.7 million—the largest cash bequest ever received by the Museum. The Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust provides the ROM with a steady stream of support that is used to build and promote the ROM’s collections through strategic acquisitions and publications related to its collections.

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