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Bowers Museum picks Anne Shih to chair its board

July 21, 2010 |  5:43 am

Anne Shih pix02 Anne Shih, whose work as an emissary has been crucial to the Bowers Museum's emergence as a venue for coveted exhibitions from China, including the record-setting "Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China's First Emperor" show in 2008, has been elected to chair the Santa Ana museum's board.

"No one has had more impact on the Bowers Museum's success than Anne," President Peter Keller said in a statement announcing that Shih would succeed Frank O'Bryan.

Shih, who came to the United States from her native Taiwan in 1979, served on the Bowers' Chinese Arts Council before joining the museum board in 1996. That year she contacted the National Museum of History in Taiwan, laying the groundwork for a 1997 exhibition, "Jade: Chi'ing Dynasty Treasures." The Bowers says she has been "instrumental" in securing more than 10 major temporary exhibitions, including "Secret World of the Forbidden City: Splendors From China's Imperial Palace" (2000) and "Secrets of the Silk Road: Mystery Mummies From China," which runs through Sunday. 

The Bowers also credits Shih with raising more than $10 million over the years.

Shih, 63, of Huntington Beach, said she is "extremely proud and elated" to be named chairman. "The Bowers Museum has been my passion for 15 years, and for many years to come. It's a part of me and my family."

-- Mike Boehm

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Photo: Anne Shih. Credit: Bowers Museum