September 2023, William Zhou

September Member of the Month: William Zhou, Doctor of Education Candidate at George Washington University

William Zhou is a student member of AAMG and a Doctor of Education Candidate at George Washington University. Thank you William for your membership with AAMG!

What’s one thing — either industry/work-related or not — you learned in the past month?

I’ve been preparing several museum tours at the National Museum of Asian Art in the past month, and it was definitely a great experience for me to learn a whole lot of stories about the trade of Asian art and major Asian art dealers in the early 20th century. That’s probably why museum education always interests me, as it pushes me to keep learning new things.

What do you value about your membership with AAMG?

The community of AAMG is perhaps its most valuable aspect: connecting and sharing thoughts with people who share my passion.

If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?

Can I trade with animals? I would love to become a bird and fly around for a day.

Coffee or tea?

Both. I grew up in a family that drinks loose leaf tea, so I inherited this habit from them. Now, I’m also a heavy coffee drinker and always enjoy exploring different coffee brewing methods.

Book/Author suggestions?

Most of my research focuses on the collection of Chinese art in Western museums and cultural institutions. For those interested in this field, “The China Collectors” by Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac is a good starting point to become familiar with this area.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

When I was little, I really wanted to be a paleontologist. After my passion for dinosaurs faded away, I wanted to be a fine artist. I feel lucky because I had the opportunity to attend the School of the Art Institute in Chicago for my undergraduate studies, and I am still creating art to this day—so I am doing what I wanted to do.

What do you enjoy most about being a part of an academic museum?

To work with unbelievably outstanding colleagues has been truly inspiring. I’m continually surprised by the expertise they possess in their respective fields, and it motivates me to expand my understanding of the world every day.

What are your hopes for our industry?

As an educator, my hope is for more museums to prioritize their educational roles and establish closer connections with the public. I am delighted to see that many individuals within the industry are collectively working towards this goal.

Bonus: Do you have a favorite joke to share?

I can share a humorous conversation I heard from others several years ago: “My future research focus will be to explore the use of digital technologies in archaeology.” “Oh, wouldn’t that be DIG-ital?” I always found that joke to be quite brilliant.