Pacific Asia Museum Appoints New Executive Director

Board of Trustees appoints Charles Mason to lead the museum now in its 40th year

Published : Monday, May 16, 2011 | 12:00 PM

Effective May 16, 2011, Charles Mason is officially the new Executive Director of the Pacific Asia Museum at North Los Robles Avenue. Previously Chief Curator of the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, Mason has over 15 years of museum experience and has produced numerous exhibitions exploring a wide variety of Asian art forms from different cultures and historical periods. He has proven success in donor cultivation and acquisitions, as well as in strategic planning and museum administration. Moreover, he has written on a broad variety of topics ranging from Chinese painting and Japanese porcelain to the history of Asian art collecting in the West.

“Asia has always been a critical region of the world, but it is especially important today. Pacific Asia Museum has a wonderful mission with its unique focus on the art and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands and is well situated to make a significant impact within the greater Los Angeles area and beyond. Having spent more than twenty years studying Asian art and culture, coming to Pacific Asia Museum is a terrific opportunity for me and I look forward to further developing the legacy that began here over 40 years ago,” Mason said.

On the other hand, Board Chair Margaret Leong Checca commented that “Charles Mason is a wonderful choice for Pacific Asia Museum. He is overwhelmingly qualified to lead the museum and position it for future growth.”

Prior to his previous position at the Gardiner Museum, Charles Mason was Chief Curator and Curator of Asian Art at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida and Curator of Asian Art at the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College in Ohio. Mason received his bachelor’s degree in Chinese Language and History from Cambridge University in England and his M.A. in Asian Studies and Art History from the University of California, Berkeley.

The museum would continue a year-long celebration of its 40th founding anniversary and in line with this, the museum opened several exhibitions. “The Art of Pacific Asia” is currently on view at the new permanent Orientation Gallery while “Visions of the Orient: Western Women Artists in Asia 1900-1940″ will be on show until May 29. “40 Year of Building the Pacific Asia Museum Collection” will open on July 7 and will be on view through October 23, 2011.

About Pacific Asia Museum

Pacific Asia Museum is one of only four institutions in the United States dedicated exclusively to the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands. The museum’s mission is to further cultural understanding through the arts. Since 1971, Pacific Asia Museum has served a broad audience of students, families, adults and scholars though its education and outreach programs. It is located at 46 North Los Robles Avenue, Pasadena and opens Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. Admission is $9 general, $7 students/seniors, and free for children ages 11 and younger. Admission is also free every 4th Friday of the month.

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