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Embark on a cultural odyssey with the Cincinnati Art Museum in From Shanghai to Ohio: Woo Chong Yung (1898–1989)

3/19/2024 12:00:00 AM

May 10–August 18, 2024

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CINCINNATI — March 19, 2024 — Explore nearly 100 dynamic artworks created by the highly accomplished painter, calligrapher and poet Woo Chong Yung 吳仲熊 (1898–1989) in the Cincinnati Art Museum’s newest exhibition. From Shanghai to Ohio: Woo Chong Yung (1898–1989) will be on view May 10–August 18, 2024.

Woo Chong Yung 吳仲熊 (1898–1989), also known in the United States as C.Y. Woo, was born in 1898 in Shanghai, China. By the 1920s, Woo had become a highly recognized artist in the elite art circles of both Shanghai and Beijing. In the 1960s, faced with political persecution, Woo left China to begin a new life in Columbus, Ohio, where he became an active presence in the local community, teaching Chinese painting and martial arts and contributing his talents to local arts councils and ethnic festivals. By the end of his life, Woo had essentially become a living legend in Columbus.

The Cincinnati Art Museum’s Curator of East Asian Art Dr. Hou-Mei Sung says, “In many ways, Woo’s life-changing experiences also tell the story of millions of Chinese who lived through the same transformative experiences, including all the Chinese people who migrated to Taiwan, Hong Kong, US and other places in the world.”

From Shanghai to Ohio: Woo Chong Yung (1898–1989) features paintings, calligraphies, photographs, seals and a sword drawn from the collections of the Cincinnati Art Museum and The Frank Museum of Art at Otterbein University. For many of the selected pieces, this will be the first time they will be publicly displayed. The exhibition provides visitors a glimpse into Woo’s artistic journey from Shanghai to Ohio and creates a context for the larger historical and cultural climate of twentieth-century China.

Produced in conjunction with the exhibition, a full color, illustrated catalog will be available for purchase to provide further historical context. It will feature Woo’s paintings and objects drawn from both the Cincinnati Art Museum and The Frank Museum of Art and include contributions from Dr. Sung and scholars Julia F. Andrews and Kuiyi Shen.

From Shanghai to Ohio: Woo Chong Yung (1898–1989) is generously supported by the National Endowment for the Arts. Exhibition support is provided by Fuyao Glass America with additional support provided by the Jeanann Gray Dunlap Foundation and the Stockman Family Foundation. The exhibition will be on view in the Thomas R. Schiff Gallery and Balcony (234 and 235). No tickets are required. General admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is also free. Photography is permitted, but no flash. On social media, use the hashtag #ShanghaiToOhio.


Upcoming, related events:

Members Opening, Thursday, May 9 | 5–7 p.m.

Museum members are invited to view the exhibition before it opens to the public and enjoy light

bites and a cash bar. Free for members.


Exhibition Lecture: TBA, Thursday, May 9 | 7–8 p.m.

Details to be announced. Tickets will be available on the museum’s website.


Art After Dark, Friday, May 31 | 5–9 p.m.

This month’s event will celebrate the exhibition and feature music, food and drinks for purchase. Admission is free. All ages welcome. Reservations are not required. 


Create Plus, Saturday, June 8 | 1–4 p.m.

Try your hand at a new art technique in this studio-based program designed for adult audiences. The themed class will begin with discussion inside the exhibition led by an artist or educator to gain inspiration from and understanding of the art form. Learn from skilled artists to take your art-making practice to the next level. More details to be announced. Reservations are required and are available via the exhibition webpage. The program is $20 for members, and $30 for the general public.


See the Story Book Club: Shanghai Girls by Lisa See, Saturday, July 20 | 11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.

Do you love to read? Love art? Join librarians from the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, along with a museum docent, for this bi-monthly book club. See the Story combines authors’ works from around the world (both fiction and non-fiction) with artwork on view in the museum’s galleries. Participants meet in the library to discuss the book of the month then take a tour of related artworks.


Gallery Talk Plus—From Shanghai to Ohio: Woo Chong Yung (1898–1989): Saturday, August 10 | 1–3 p.m. Gain a deeper insight through this unique gallery experience for adult audiences. Join an in-depth discussion of a topic, led by a curator or guest speaker, inside the exhibition. Then, enjoy an exclusive performance or artistic demonstration supporting the theme. More details to be announced. Reservations are required and are available via the exhibition webpage. The program is $10 for members, and $20 for the general public.

Schedule subject to change. Visit for the latest information.


About the Cincinnati Art Museum 

One of the oldest arts institutions in the United States, and the first purpose-built art museum west of the Allegheny Mountains, the Cincinnati Art Museum features a diverse, encyclopedic art collection of more than 73,000 works spanning 6,000 years. In addition to displaying its own broad collection, the museum conducts extensive research and creates and organizes several exhibitions each year. It also hosts national and international traveling exhibitions. Through these critical projects and art-related programs, activities and special events, the museum contributes to a more vibrant Cincinnati by inspiring its people and connecting its communities. 

The Cincinnati Art Museum is supported by the generosity of individuals and businesses that give annually to ArtsWave. The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Cincinnati Art Museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. The Cincinnati Art Museum gratefully acknowledges operating support from the City of Cincinnati, as well as its members. Free general admission to the Cincinnati Art Museum is made possible by a gift from the Rosenthal Family Foundation. Exhibition pricing may vary. Generous support for the museum’s extended Thursday hours is provided by Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All program. Parking at the Cincinnati Art Museum is free. More information is available at 

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