“To benefit from this gift fills my heart with gratitude beyond expression,” says assistant professor of history of art Jie Shi of a collection of books donated to the College this fall by Constance Tang Fong ’55 and Wen Fong.
The Wen Fong & Constance Tang Fong ’55 Collection of books—all related to the history of Chinese and East Asian art—formed the core of Wen Fong’s personal library. The collection now positions the College to become a major center for the study of Chinese art. Shi calls the Fong Collection “a remarkable treasure.”
Wen Fong, professor emeritus of Chinese art history at Princeton University, built this scholarly collection during the course of his highly influential career. A leader in shaping the modern field of East Asian art history, he established the first Ph.D. program in the United States in Chinese and Japanese art and archaeology and served as a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“Almost all the Chinese and Japanese books are highly valuable,” Shi continues, “and many of them are rare to find today in some of the best libraries in this country. This collection will not only facilitate my teaching and research but also attract more students and scholars in and near Philadelphia to come to use it.”
Active supporters of the College, the Fongs have been honored previously with the naming of the serene and light-filled Constance Tang Fong 1955 Reading Room in Carpenter Library. An emeritus trustee, Connie Fong now serves on the Board of the Friends of the Library.
“It is such a great pleasure that Mrs. Fong is willing to donate this fantastic collection to her alma mater and to support our teaching and research,” says Shi.
Chief Information Officer and Director of Libraries Gina Siesing echoes Shi’s sentiments: “We are honored in the Libraries to be welcoming this important collection to Bryn Mawr, where we know it will open up tremendous new opportunities for scholarship for our students and faculty and the broader research community.”
The College is planning a celebration of the Fongs’ generosity in the spring.
Read more about Bryn Mawr College Libraries in Mirabile Dictu: the Bryn Mawr College Library Newsletter