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copper canyon

Philanthropy in Action: Mimi Gardner Gates

2y ago
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Mimi Gardner Gates '81 Ph.D. shares her passion for philanthropy and the arts with Maxim Thorne and Yale students. Ms. Gates visited Yale on April 19, 2012 to speak with students in Maxim Thorne's Philanthropy in Action seminar. She talks about how she came to philanthropy after being involved with her father's small family foundation and went on to later be involved with the Gates Foundation. She addresses merging her appreciation for Chinese painting, ceramics and the history of ornament with philanthropy and describes her recent efforts to protect the Buddhist Caves of Dunhuang in the Chinese Gobi Desert. Ms. Gates, a Fellow of the Yale Corporation, began her tenure at Yale University Art Gallery in 1975, serving as Curator of Asian Art through 1987 and as Henry J. Heinz II Director of the Yale University Art Gallery from 1987-1994. As Director of the Seattle Art Museum from 1994-2009, Gates aggressively led the museum forward, embarking on significant capital projects, including building a new downtown expanded art museum, creation of the Olympic Sculpture Park, renovations to the 1933 Seattle Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park, and establishment of a conservation studio. In addition to overseeing the growth of the Seattle Art Museum, she oversaw the organization of major exhibitions and scholarly publications. Ms. Gates received her B.A. from Stanford University in Asian History; an Honors diploma in Chinese Language and Culture from the École Nationale des Langues Orientales Vivantes, Paris; an M.A. in Oriental and Chinese studies from the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. in Art History from Yale University. Gates has served as president and trustee of the Association of Art Museum Directors, chaired the Federal Indemnity panel (1999--2002) at The National Endowment for the Arts, sat on the Advisory Board of the Getty Leadership Institute and is currently a member of the Governing Board of the Yale University Art Gallery. In addition, she is a member of the Board of the Northwest African American Museum, the Greater Seattle YWCA, Downtown Seattle Association, and Copper Canyon Press.