In this public discussion, leaders from U.S. and Chinese museums discussed the role that museums play within their respective communities, addressing some fundamental and important questions: What do museum leaders in both countries feel a museum’s mission should be? What are a museum’s civic and social responsibilities? How do U.S. and Chinese museums aim to serve their public? Do these communities have different expectations for their museums? Do these expectations affect the way artwork is presented and interpreted? What are the methods used by museums in both countries to effectively engage their audiences? In the twenty-first century, how do museums make historical material relevant to visitors? This discussion was moderated by Boon Hui Tan, director of Asia Society Museum.

Sharon Matt Atkins, Vice Director of Exhibitions and Collections Management, Brooklyn Museum
Catherine L. Futter, Director of Curatorial Affairs, Nelson-Atkins Museum
Katherine Anne Paul, Curator of the Arts of Asia, Newark Museum
Qizhi Wang, Deputy Director, Nanjing Museum
Heng Wu, Deputy Director of Cultural Exchange Center, Nanjing Museum

This program was hosted in affiliation with the U.S.-China Museum Summit. The Summit brought together museum leaders to build partnerships, facilitate collaboration, and foster cultural exchange.

The Summit continued 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 Transfuze: The Asia Arts and Museum Network events that include U.S.-China Museum Leaders Forum (Shanghai and Hangzhou, 2014), and U.S.-China Museum Leaders Forum (Beijing, 2012).

The 2016 U.S.-China Museum Summit was organized by American Federation of Arts, Asia Society, the Chinese Museums Association, and Nanjing Museum.

The American Federation of Arts and Asia Society are grateful to the following supporters for their generous contribution to the 2016 U.S.-China Museum Summit:
E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation
Terra Foundation for American Art
The Julis-Rabinowitz Family Art Initiative
K11 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, The Museum of Modern Art, New York Public Library, Sotheby’s, Warwick Hotel, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Noelle Xie