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Asian Art Museum Names Dr. Karin G. Oen Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art

Curator/scholar will serve as Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art in the museum’s burgeoning contemporary art program.

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SAN FRANCISCO, April 16, 2015 — The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco today announced the appointment of Dr. Karin G. Oen as the museum’s Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, effective June 15, 2015. A scholar of modern and contemporary Asian art with museum experience focusing on contemporary and historical collections, Dr. Oen will help plan, develop, and implement the museum’s burgeoning contemporary art program. The position is generously supported by funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“Karin—a curator, scholar, and museum educator—brings a great mix of skills to this important role at the museum,” said Dr. Pedro Moura Carvalho, the museum’s deputy director, art and programs. “Her appointment reflects a growing commitment by the Asian Art Museum—long acclaimed for its collection of historical works—to present contemporary art to audiences in a savvy, engaging way that connects past and present. She arrives as the museum kicks off our ‘Summer of Contemporary,’ a series of programming, including the exhibitions 28 Chinese and First Look: Collecting Contemporary at the Asian.”

Dr. Oen joins the Asian Art Museum from the Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, TX, where she served as curator, organizing exhibitions from the collection and private lenders. Dr. Oen participated in a large-scale renovation of the museum and the opening of its sculpture garden. She also served on the adjunct faculty at the University of Texas, Dallas, and the University of North Texas, offering specialized courses on modern and contemporary Asian art.

Prior to the Crow Collection, Dr. Oen was a museum educator in Asian art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA. She has also held curatorial positions at ArtWorks in New Bedford, MA, a contemporary art center involved with an arts-oriented economic revitalization of that city’s downtown, and at Ethan Cohen Fine Arts, the first New York gallery to specialize in avant-garde contemporary art from China.

“I am excited to join Dr. Moura Carvalho, the museum’s director, Dr. Jay Xu, and the curatorial team at the Asian Art Museum as they expand and extend the museum’s contemporary art collection and programs,” said Dr. Oen. “The museum has a rich history of showcasing the art and cultures of Asia. I’m eager to build upon that legacy by creatively emphasizing connections between the museum’s visitors, its collections, and art and artists of the 20th and 21st centuries.”

Dr. Oen holds a Ph.D. in history, theory, and criticism of art and architecture from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an M.A. in modern art history, connoisseurship, and art market history from Christie’s Education, and a B.A. in urban studies, art history minor, from Stanford University.

About the Asian Art Museum

The Asian Art Museum–Chong-Moon Lee Center for Asian Art and Culture is one of San Francisco’s premier arts institutions and home to a world-renowned collection of more than 18,000 Asian art treasures spanning 6000 years of history. Through rich art experiences, centered on historic and contemporary artworks, the Asian Art Museum unlocks the past for visitors, bringing it to life while serving as a catalyst for new art, new creativity and new thinking.

Information: 415.581.3500 or

Location: 200 Larkin Street, San Francisco, CA 94102


Press Release Types: Museum News