USC Pacific Asia Museum Announces Departure of Museum Director Christina Yu Yu

Published : Friday, March 9, 2018 | 10:23 AM

Today, USC Pacific Asia Museum announced that Museum Director, Christina Yu Yu will step down from her position on May 1st to accept an appointment at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston as the Matsutaro Shoriki Chair, Art of Asia. USC will form a search committee to hire a new Director.

“Christina did a marvelous job of elevating a local Pasadena gallery into a world-class museum that is drawing a diverse group of families, visitors, academic scholars and others,” said Provost Michael Quick. “The Pacific Asia Museum now is part of our academic mission and we are sorry to lose Christina’s leadership, but we are proud of her great success.”

Beginning in 2014, Yu Yu led the USC Pacific Asia Museum’s transition after the University of Southern California merged with the Pacific Asia Museum in 2013. Under her leadership USC PAM transitioned from a community museum into a university affiliated art museum that brought together Pasadena supporters and world-class scholars.

“It has been a privilege to lead the USC Pacific Asia Museum for almost four years,” said Yu Yu, “Completing a vision for USC PAM and reopening the museum after our seismic retrofit has been a highlight in my career. I am proud of my staff, thankful to the museum’s supporters and know I am departing at a time when USC PAM is ready for a new chapter in its history.”

Yu Yu’s ambitious vision led to the development of a Master Plan for USC PAM that will reinvigorate the museum and building into a 21st century world class art museum. She successfully oversaw the seventeen-month seismic retrofit of Master Plan phase 1, to date the highest profile renovation in USC PAM’s history. Under her leadership, USC PAM grew its Board of Councilors to include USC trustees, longtime supporters and Asian art collectors.

As the Museum’s first Asian director, Yu Yu is an expert in Chinese art. She championed internationally and nationally acclaimed exhibitions at USC PAM, including Royal Taste: the Art of Princely Courts in 15th Century China (2015) and current special exhibition, Winds from Fusang: Mexico & China in the Twentieth Century (2017).

Yu Yu worked with curatorial staff to finish an inventory of the museum’s almost 15,000 objects within its permanent collection, leading to the publication of a Korean Collections Catalogue and setting ground work for other regional catalogues in the future. Over the last four years, notable works have entered the USC PAM collection, including Homeward Bound by Park Soo-Keun and How to Cut an Artillery Pantaloons, by Imran Qureshi.

Yu Yu also worked closely with the Programs Department to make sure programming served a larger and more diverse audience that included families, scholars, the community and USC faculty, staff and students.

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