Dr. Cheng joined the ROM in October 2011, as the Louise Hawley Stone Chair of East Asian Art. She is cross-appointed with the Department of Fine Arts and East Asia Studies at the University of Toronto. Her Ph.D. is in the History of Art from the University of Michigan, where her specialty was Chinese painting. She has held postdoctoral fellowships at the J. Paul Getty Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution. Curatorial work, research, and teaching have been the three major parts of her academic training and experience.
Before joining the ROM, Dr. Cheng taught courses in Asian art history at the University of Michigan and Pennsylvania State University at University Park. Her museum experience spans nearly a decade, primarily through working in a research capacity for the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA). She served as guest curator and catalogue author for a special exhibition, Tradition Transformed: Chang Ku-nien, Chinese Master Painter of the 20th Century, showing in 2010 at the UMMA. She was also the co-curator and catalogue co-author for the exhibition Looking Both Ways: A Contemporary Art Exhibition Coinciding with the Centennial of the Xinhai Revolution (2011), organized by the Eastern Michigan University Art Galleries in collaboration with the Confucius Institute and the North Campus Research Complex at the University of Michigan.
Dr. Cheng is responsible for developing a dynamic program of collection-based scholarship through acquisitions and permanent and temporary exhibitions. Her major area of research is premodern Chinese painting, and her research approach is a contextualized study of visual culture. Most recently, she co-curated the exhibition, The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China's Emperors, on view from March to Sept, 2014 at ROM and traveling to the Vancourver Art Gallery in Oct, 2014.
Dr. Cheng's biography is courtesy of the ROM.