U.S.-China Museum Summit Brings Leaders of Major Museums in China to NY for Dialogue with their U.S. Counterparts

New York, September 21, 2016 — The American Federation of Arts (AFA), Asia Society, the Chinese Museums Association, and the Nanjing Museum are pleased to announce the U.S.-China Museum Summit will take place in New York City from September 25 to 28, 2016, bringing together museum directors and cultural leaders from both countries. Participants will explore opportunities for cultural exchange, develop tangible plans for ongoing institutional collaborations, and build connections with their peers. The Summit will provide a forum for participants to engage in a series of moderated discussions, networking meetings, and museum visits. Keynote addresses will be given by Martin Roth, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and Hsueh-man Shen, Associate Professor: Ehrenkranz Chair in World Art at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. Inaugural remarks will be made by Pauline Willis, Director of the AFA; Boon Hui Tan, Vice President of Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Director of Asia Society Museum; Gong Liang, Vice President of Chinese Museums Association and Director of Nanjing Museum; and Tom Finkelpearl, New York City’s Commissioner for Cultural Affairs.

“We are delighted to be able to continue the exchange we began with our Chinese colleagues over three years ago,” said Willis. “By better understanding the ways museums work in both countries we can ensure many successful collaborations in the future.”

Asia Society Museum's Boon Hui Tan said, “We are pleased to be convening the U.S-China Museum Summit, building on previous summits in Shanghai and Hangzhou in 2014 and in Beijing in 2012. Through these gatherings, U.S. museum directors have been able to engage in direct and meaningful dialogue with their peers in China, who share many of the same challenges and opportunities.”

Participants will address and examine the profound differences and increasing similarities in American and Chinese museological ideologies, exploring how different perspectives affect governance, programming, collections management, the interpretation of objects, community outreach, and museum partnerships. Additionally, participants will take a closer look at the major challenges facing museums in both the United States and China, as well as the role that collaborations can play in helping institutions stay true to their core mission and relevant to the broader public.

Twenty directors from major Chinese museums, including the Capital Museum, Palace Museum, National Art Museum of China, and Nanjing Museum, will be present. Participating directors from major American museums include: Kaywin Feldman, Minneapolis Institute of Art; Brian Ferriso, Portland Art Museum; William M. Griswold, Cleveland Museum of Art; Christoph Heinrich, Denver Art Museum; Glenn D. Lowry, Museum of Modern Art, New York; Dan L. Monroe, Peabody-Essex Museum; and Alex Nyerges, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

The U.S.-China Museum Summit will build on the dialogues on U.S.-China museum partnerships and exchanges that were the focus of Meeting the West: Exhibitions from American Museums (Nanjing, 2014), organized by the American Federation of Arts and the Nanjing Museum, and Asia Society’s U.S.-China Museum Leaders Forum (Shanghai and Hangzhou, 2014), and U.S.-China Museum Directors Forum (Beijing, 2012) held as part of the organization’s initiative Asia Society Museum: The Asia Arts and Museum Network.

Members of the media are invited to selected events associated with the summit. Pre-registration is required.

Monday, September 26
New York Public Library, Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street. Enter via the freight entrance.
Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III Trustee Room

8:30 am: Check in
8:45–10:30 am: Inaugural addresses (with simultaneous translation)

8:45–9:15 am: Opening remarks
* Pauline Willis, Director, American Federation of Arts
* Boon Hui Tan, Vice President of Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Director of Asia Society Museum
* Gong Liang, Vice President of the Board, Chinese Museums Association & Director of Nanjing Museum
* Tom Finkelpearl, Commissioner, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs

9:15–10:30 am: Keynote presentations and moderated discussion (with simultaneous translation)
* Martin Roth, Director, Victoria and Albert Museum
* Hsueh-man Shen, Associate Professor: Ehrenkranz Chair in World Art, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
* Moderator: Gong Liang, Vice President of the Board, Chinese Museums Association & Director of Nanjing Museum

Tuesday, September 27
Asia Society Museum, 725 Park Ave (at 70th Street), New York City

5:00–6:00 pm: Press availability with visiting museum directors
6:30–8:00 pm: Public program and discussion moderated by Boon Hui Tan, Vice President of Global Arts & Cultural Programs and Director of Asia Society Museum

Acknowledgements

The American Federation of Arts and Asia Society, New York are grateful to the following sponsors for their generous support of the U.S.-China Museum Summit:

  • E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation
  • Terra Foundation for American Art
  • The Julis-Rabinowitz Family Art InitiativeK11 Art Foundation
  • Diller Scofidio + Renfro
  • MAD Architects
  • DSL Collection
  • Ennead Architects

Additional support provided by:
Brooklyn Museum, Chambers Fine Art, James Cohan Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, New York Public Library, Sotheby’s, Warwick Hotel, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Noelle Xie.

About the American Federation of Arts
The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit organization founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs. For more information about the AFA, visit www.afaweb.org.

About Asia Society
Asia Society is the leading educational organization dedicated to promoting mutual understanding and strengthening partnerships among peoples, leaders, and institutions of Asia and the United States in a global context. Across the fields of arts, business, culture, education, and policy, the Society provides insight, generates ideas, and promotes collaboration to address present challenges and create a shared future. Founded in 1956 by John D. Rockefeller 3rd, Asia Society is a nonpartisan, nonprofit institution with major cultural centers in New York, Hong Kong, and Houston, and offices in Los Angeles, Manila, Mumbai, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Washington, DC, and Zurich.

CONTACT INFORMATION

Natalie Espinosa: nespinosa@afaweb.org / 212.9887700 x 205
Elaine Merguerian: elainem@asiasociety.org / 212-327-9313

Download PDFs of the press release in English and in Chinese at right.