Sharing Asian Art & Culture with the World

Jane Liu

Jane Liu sharing the spotlight with one of her own creations—a quilted prayer mat. Photo courtesy of Jane Liu. 

A twist of fate led Jane Liu to discover the Royal Ontario Museum. In 1989, as a recently landed immigrant from Taiwan, she decided to explore her new city by hopping on the subway. Her first destination was the ROM - and the rest was history.    

Jane has remained a steady presence at the ROM for nearly 30 years. Like many volunteers, her connection with the Museum has continued to grow with time. She began as a volunteer in the Bishop White Committee Library of East Asia, and later became a Docent, leading tours in the Galleries of Japan and China. In 2005, she joined the Bishop White Committee, which supports the activities of the Museum’s East Asia Section.    

In addition to her already significant contributions, Jane has named the ROM as a beneficiary in her Will. Bequests come in many forms and sizes and all strengthen the ROM for the future while creating a personal legacy for the donor. Jane’s generous gift of a beautiful piece of Taiwanese pottery from her own collection will help enhance the ROM’s renowned collection of Asian art.     

We spoke with her about what this gift means to her and to the ROM. 

How did you discover the ROM?   

After I immigrated to Canada, I did not rush to find a job, and instead took many courses at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. One day, my instructor asked if I would consider volunteering and suggested that I call Jack Howard who was the head of what is now known as the Bishop White Committee Library of East Asia. 

You’ve been involved with the ROM for nearly 30 years. What would you say has been your favourite Museum experience?    

I’ve always loved connecting exhibitions to various galleries—I never get tired of finding new things. As a Docent, I’ve guided tours of almost all the blockbuster exhibitions. If I had to name some favourites, they would be The Warrior Emperor and China’s Terracotta Army (2010), Small Skills, Special Effects: Unusual Chinese Works of Art (2012), Big (2014,) Cairo Under Wraps: Early Islamic Textiles (2015) Here we are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art (2018) and Treasures of a Desert Kingdom: The Royal Treasures of Jodhpur, India (2019).  

What inspired your gift and what area will your gift support and why?    

When I lived in Taiwan, I collected antiques and art, mostly of Chinese origin, but I stopped because I now believe they belong in museums where everyone can appreciate them. I was also inspired by the example of the ROM’s visionary founding director Charles T. Currelly who devoted himself to building a collection that would be meaningful to the people of Ontario, and Canada as a whole. What a noble mind! By naming the ROM as a beneficiary in my estate, I can help grow and expand on his original vision.  

Why is it important for people to support the ROM?   

I believe it’s important to support arts, culture and education and the ROM is one of the foremost cultural institutions in the world. 

Gifts of any size are appreciated and strengthen the ROM’s future. To learn more about the various ways you can legacy at the Museum, please contact Janice Correa at