Worcester Art Museum Appoints New Curator of Asian Art
By Denise Tsui
The Worcester Art Museum (WAM), Massachusetts, has appointed Vivian Li as the new curator of Asian art. Announced on May 20, Li will be charged with the responsibility of overseeing the museum’s Asian art holdings and building on the collection through new acquisitions.
Commencing her new position on September 21, Li will also be tasked with the role of developing an active Asian art program and reinvigorating the current permanent collection of the Asian art galleries in the museum. Jon L. Syedl, director of curatorial affairs and curator of European art at WAM, said of her appointment: “Vivian brings to the table a creativity and expertise that can be applied across the full breadth of the museum’s Asian art collection, and the curiosity to rethink how we share the narrative of Asian cultures with our audiences.”
Previously, Li has held positions as a curatorial assistant at various galleries of Asian art, as well as an adjunct assistant curator at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH). As a curatorial assistant at MFAH, Li was involved in the rehanging of its Asian art collection and the organization of three Korean art exhibitions, including “Your Bright Future: 12 Contemporary Artists from Korea” (2009), in addition to two shows of Islamic calligraphy in partnership with Harvard Art Museums. In her role as adjunct assistant curator, Li developed exhibition strategies for MFAH’s Arts of the Islamic World gallery.
The Worcester Art Museum was established in 1898 and holds an extensive 35,000-piece collection. The museum’s Asian art department was initiated in 1901, following a large bequest of Japanese prints, which has since been its area of strength. Recently, the Asian art department has enriched its collection with acquisitions of modern Japanese ceramics, Indian, Persian and Chinese paintings, as well as ceramics and jades from China.