The first Chinese American director at a major U.S. art museum, Dr. Jay Xu is Director of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (AAMSF). Prior to his appointment at AAMSF in 2008, he was Chairman of the Department of Asian and Ancient Art (2006-2008), in charge of arts of Asia and of the ancient Mediterranean world including ancient Near East, Greek and Roman cultures; and Head of the Department of Asian Art (2003-2006) at the Art Institute of Chicago, Curator of Chinese Art at the Seattle Art Museum (1996-2003), and Research Fellow at the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1995-1996). He began his museum career at the Shanghai Museum (1983-1990), and received his graduate training in early Chinese art and archaeology at Princeton University (M.A. and Ph.D.).
Dr. Xu is committed to deepening understanding of Asian art and culture in the global context, and to advocating global art as an essential platform for cross-cultural understanding and diplomacy. His vision for the Asian Art Museum is to embrace and explore interconnectivity between artistic ideas in Asia and in the rest of the world, and between traditional and contemporary art.
Dr. Xu is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, and a member of Committee of 100–a national non-partisan organization composed of American citizens of Chinese descent who have achieved positions of leadership in the U.S. in a broad range of professions.