Christina Yu Yu, director of the USC Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, is stepping down to serve as the Matsutaro Shoriki Chair of Art of Asia at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
“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 USC Provost Michael Quick. Yu Yu’s final day is May 1. “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.”
Yu Yu, who was born in China and speaks Japanese and English fluently, is a noted scholar of both historic and contemporary Chinese art, according to artdaily.org. She previously served as an assistant curator of Chinese and Korean art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).
Coming to Pasadena in 2014, Yu Yu helped the USC Pacific Asia Museum transition from a community museum into a university-affiliated art institute after USC took over administration of the facility in 2013.
Under her leadership, the museum’s Board of Councilors expanded to include USC trustees, longtime supporters and Asian art collectors. She was the first Asian-American director in the museum’s history and worked with the programming department to engage a larger and more diverse audience that included families, scholars and USC faculty, staff and students. During Yu Yu’s time in charge, she also oversaw a 17-month seismic retrofit of the museum.
At USC PAM, Yu Yu graced Pasadena with the internationally and nationally acclaimed exhibition “Royal Taste: the Art of Princely Courts in 15th Century China” (2015) and the current special exhibition, “Winds from Fusang: Mexico & China in the Twentieth Century” (2017).
“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.”