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Chinese Gallery Named

Dr. and Mrs. Chang

      Dr. and Mrs. Chang

UMMA is very pleased to announce that it has received a $1 million pledge from Dr. Cheng-Yang Chang in honor of his recently deceased wife, Shirley, to be recognized in the naming of The Shirley Chang Gallery of Chinese Art in the Museum’s new addition. In addition, Dr. Chang gifted to the Museum thirty-five traditional Chinese paintings by his father, noted artist Ku-nien Chang. Together these gifts recognize and build on the strengths of UMMA’s holdings in Chinese art, widely considered to be among the strongest in university hands anywhere in the United States.

“Dr. Chang’s visionary gift to the building project and generous donation of his father’s artwork support the incredible legacy of East Asian scholarship and art collecting at Michigan,” said UMMA Director James Steward. “With The Shirley Chang Gallery of Chinese Art, we have now named two of our future four galleries to be dedicated to the visual arts of Asia.”

A retired urologist and Ann Arbor resident, Dr. Chang practiced in Flint, Michigan, and was a clinical associate professor at the University of Michigan Medical Center. He graduated with his MD from the National Defense Medical Center in Taipei, Taiwan, and completed his residency in urology at the UM Hospital in 1967. A strong supporter of the University, Dr. Chang has made gifts in the past to the UM Medical School, Business School, and the Museum of Art, among other units. The Chang Foundation, established in 1987 in honor of Dr. Chang’s father, has funded more than 100 scholarships for art students in Taiwan.

“In funding UMMA’s Chinese gallery, I honor my wife’s lifelong appreciation and sharing of the arts,” said Dr. Chang. “It is the perfect way to remember her generosity and spirit.” He added: “As a public institution, UMMA is an ideal home for my father’s works to be enjoyed and studied for generations to come.”

Mrs. Chang, who died in January of 2006, was a graduate of UM (MBA, 1966, and MPH, 1975). She taught accounting and statistics in Taipei and Flint and served for many years as the office manager for her husband’s practice. An accomplished musician, Mrs. Chang played the Chinese long zither and Chinese hammered dulcimer and founded the Ann Arbor Chinese chamber orchestra Heavenly Chord. She also organized two exhibitions of traditional Chinese arts from Taiwan to promote cultural exchange. The Changs, who married in 1964, have two children and six grandchildren. Their sons are also UM alumni: Hamilton Chang graduated from LS&A (BGS, 1989), while Theodore Chang graduated with an MD in 1991 and completed his residency at Michigan in 1996.

Dr. Chang’s father, Ku-nien Chang (1906–1987), hailed from a small town in Jiangsu Province in southeastern China. Trained by his uncle, a distinguished painter in Shanghai, Chang had his first solo exhibition in Shanghai in 1943. He is known for his virtuoso classical painting techniques applied in original ways to a range of landscape subjects. He was also an accomplished calligrapher. A respected member of the “Seven Friends” alliance of artists formed in 1955 to promote traditional Chinese painting, Chang was honored with several art prizes over his career and his work has been shown in exhibitions around the world.