About the Project
Avery Brundage (left) with
the Seated Buddha (338 AD)
The Asian Art Museum Oral History Project consists of five interviews, amounting to roughly 23 hours of recordings, conducted throughout 2013; additional interviews are planned to take place in 2014 and 2015, in advance of the institution’s 50th anniversary in 2016.
Interviews focused on the men and women who built, supported, or in some way contributed to the institution. Interviews thus far have been conducted with a curator, several members of the commission and trustees of the foundation, and a longtime docent. Some of the main themes covered in the interviews include: an institutional history of the Asian Art Museum itself, from its initial status as a prized private collection to its current status as one of the premiere collections of Asian art and artifacts in the world; the history of the art museum as an institution; diversity, multiculturalism, and community outreach practices of an art museum; and the global dimensions of staging major exhibitions. Interviews examine in detail the development of the museum’s permanent collection, important temporary exhibitions staged at the museum, transformations in funding and development, the influence of various leaders on the museum, and the relationship between the museum and the many and varied communities who visit and support the museum.
The project interview staff at ROHO consisted of Martin Meeker, PhD, Lisa Rubens, PhD, and Sam Redman, PhD. The project interviewers were assisted by David Dunham, technical specialist, and Julie Allen, editor.