Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art Announces New Board Appointments

February 22, 2022 | Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art Announces New Board Appointments

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art welcomes Julian C.L. Cheng and Arthur R. Collins as new members of its board of trustees. The Smithsonian’s Board of Regents approved their appointment for four-year terms each, effective February 24, 2022. The 17-member Board of Regents, consisting of the Chief Justice of the United States, the Vice President of the United States, three members of the United States Senate, three members of the United States House of Representatives, and nine citizens, is responsible for the administration of the Smithsonian.These new appointees join the board as the museum prepares for its centennial in 2023—a milestone celebration and a springboard for the museum’s transformative vision for its next century, which will broaden and deepen the museum’s impact and reach both on-site and online.

“As we mark our centennial in 2023, the passion and dedication of these talented new members will accelerate our efforts to tell new stories about our collections and share them in more accessible and compelling ways with a global audience,” said Chase F. Robinson, the Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the museum. “On behalf of my colleagues at the museum and across the Smithsonian, I’m delighted that Julian and Art are joining us in our work to foster understanding and celebrate Asian arts and cultures.”

“As chair of the board of trustees, I am thrilled to welcome these new members who bring both deep expertise and unique perspectives to our museum,” said Antoine van Agtmael on behalf of the board. “With their help, we can expand our engagement and impact with both local and international communities. The museum’s board now totals 26 members and is larger and more diverse than it has ever been.”

About the New Members

Julian C.L. Cheng

Cheng received a Bachelor of Arts from Harvard in 1996. A partner with Warburg Pincus, he co-heads the firm’s business in China and is a member of the firm’s Executive Management Group. Before joining Warburg Pincus, Cheng worked in investment banking with Salomon Smith Barney and Bankers Trust. He is on the board of a number of public and private companies and is a trustee of St. Paul’s School in New Hampshire and an independent director of The Bank of East Asia, China.

“The National Museum of Asian Art is an important ally of communication, history, language, art and cultural exchange between the United States and Asia,” Cheng said. “Increased knowledge will foster mutual understanding and creativity for future generations.”

Arthur R. Collins

Collins is the founder and managing partner of theGROUP in Washington, D.C., and has over 30 years of experience advising corporate leaders, heads of state and their governments, non-profit executives and investors across a broad range of policy-related matters.

He serves as a member of the board of trustees of RLJ Lodging Trust and the board of directors of KB Home, as vice chair of the board of trustees of the Brookings Institution, and as chairman of the board of trustees of the Morehouse School of Medicine. He served as chairman of the board of trustees of Florida A&M University.

“I enthusiastically join my fellow trustees in effectively working to expand the reach of the museum to communities throughout the Washington area, our nation and around the globe, those which have yet to experience all that NMAA has to offer in the form of education, collaboration and cultural understanding,” Collins said.

About the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art is committed to preserving, exhibiting and interpreting exemplary works of art. It houses exceptional collections of Asian art, with more than 45,000 objects dating from the Neolithic period to today. Renowned and iconic objects originate from China, Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, the ancient Near East and the Islamic world. The museum’s Freer Gallery of Art also holds a significant group of American works of art largely dating to the late 19th century. It boasts the world’s largest collection of diverse works by James McNeill Whistler, including the famed Peacock Room. The National Museum of Asian Art is dedicated to increasing understanding of the arts of Asia through a broad portfolio of exhibitions, publications, conservation, research and education.

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