Chinese museum heads join world gathering

Updated: 2014-05-20 10:02

By DENG YU in Seattle(China Daily USA)

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Chinese museum heads join world gathering

Michelle Hargrave, curator of American Federation of Arts and member of China Connect program talks to participants to the AAM. [Photo provided for China Daily]

The global museum community converged on Seattle for the 108th American Alliance of Museums (AAM) Annual Meeting & Museum Expo at the Washington Convention Center. The annual gathering of more than 400 museum professionals from more than 50 countries attracted more than 5,000 participants.

With the theme of The Innovative Edge, one of the highlights of this year's meeting, which will end on Wednesday, is the participation of a delegation of 80 Chinese museum leaders, who hoped to learn from their American counterparts and to look for opportunities for specific exhibitions that can travel between the two countries.

"One of the largest international delegations at the meeting is once again from China, which is the testament to the growing interests to exchange and share museum practices and knowledge between our two countries," said AAM president Ford W. Bell at a welcoming reception hosted at the Sheraton Hotel.

Panel sessions related to US-China exchange were organized by China Connect, a program sponsored by AAM, and addressed critical issues in planning, curating and marketing exhibitions and trying to find solutions for those challenges on both sides.

"China Connect is dedicated to traveling exhibitions to and from China and building global partnerships," said Daisy Yiyou Wang, curator of Chinese and East Asian Art at the Peabody Essex Museum and a member of China Connect. "Since 2011, the year we officially launched the program, we have been actively initiating a platform that allows leading Chinese museum professionals to meet with American colleagues to exchange ideas on best practices in exhibition, education and management."

Last year, the AAM signed a cooperative agreement with the Chinese Museum Association (CMA) that formalized a working relationship between the two national museum bodies that began at the 2010 AAM Annual Meeting & Museum Expo in Los Angeles. The results were translations into Mandarin of books from AAM Press and a series of annual meetings that were simultaneously translated for the Chinese delegation.

More than 20 Chinese museums of art, cultural heritage and science will participate in this year's China Connect program, representing Beijing, Shanghai, and other major cities across China.

One of them, the Central Academy of Fine Arts, will be looking for American venues for a groundbreaking exhibition it has organized featuring 70 contemporary artists from all around the world. China Connect will premiere the show at its Exhibition Marketplace in Seattle, a program it created to encourage museums to work together.

Annual Meeting and MuseumExpo in Seattle at the China Connect booth on Monday. This is the first year that the China Connect program sets up a booth at the annual event to provide a better platform between museum professionals of the United States and China.