New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) recently announced the commencement of its long-postponed renovation after receiving a $125 million donation from a wealthy Chinese American couple.
“No surprise”: The donation, which came from longtime Met trustee Oscar Tang and his wife, Agnes Hsu-Tang, was the largest donation that the museum has ever received in its 151-year history, reported the New York Times.
- Focusing on the presentation of modern and contemporary art, the renovation will include galleries and public spaces covering 80,000 square feet.
- In a statement, the museum’s CEO Daniel H. Weiss said: “Their generosity — while breathtaking in its scope and vision — is no surprise, as it is an extension of their decades-long support of our Museum.”
- In honor of the donors, the renovated area will be called the “Oscar L. Tang and H.M. Agnes Hsu-Tang Wing.”
- Estimated to cost $500 million, the project was proposed over 10 years ago but was put on hold due to budget constraints.
The benefactors: Tang is the founder of financial planner firm Reich & Tang, while Dr. Hsu-Tang is an international cultural heritage policy advisor who has an extensive background in archaeology and art history, reported South China Morning Post.
- According to her Columbia University profile, Dr. Hsu-Tang served on UNESCO World Heritage Centre’s scientific committees from 2006 to 2013.
- She also served as an adviser to former President Barack Obama’s Cultural Property Advisory Committee from 2013 to 2014.
- Meanwhile, her husband is a retired financier who is the son of Tang Ping-yuan, known as the “Textile Tycoon” of Hong Kong.
- Having served on the museum’s board for three decades, Tang has given multiple donations to the establishment, including $14 million in 1997 and $15 million in 2015. Both gifts were used to support projects related to Asian art.
- “Having witnessed the turbulent times that many continue to endure, we find The Metropolitan Museum of Art to be an exemplary guardian and presenter of artistic heritages across cultures and time,” the couple said.
- They also shared that they are backing the renovation project as part of their continued support of transcultural and anti-racism initiatives as “contemporary art transcends entrenched notions of borders and identities.”
- Earlier this year, the pair launched the “Yellow Whistle” campaign that involved distributing yellow whistles to members of the Asian American community.
- Asia Society Hong Kong Center honored the couple in its Arts and Culture Virtual Gala in June for their contributions to the community over the years.
Featured Image via AsiaSocietyHK