A Message from the Family of Hung Liu
It is with a complicated sense of exhilaration and peace that I would like to announce the appointment of Dr. Dorothy Moss as the founding director of the Hung Liu Estate. Dorothy, senior curator at the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, where she worked for eleven years, is among the most respected museum professionals in the field. She conceived and curated the exhibition and publication “Hung Liu: Portraits of Promised Lands,” which recently received a Secretary's Research Prize from the Smithsonian. She was also a close friend of the artist’s, even until the end of Hung’s life in 2021.
As director, Dorothy will launch and lead the estate’s activities in the U.S. and internationally, which will include placing Hung Liu’s archive; forging strategic partnerships with museums, galleries, and academic institutions; advancing scholarship on the artist’s wide-ranging work; and developing new initiatives that build on Liu’s enduring artistic legacy and deep commitment to individual human dignity in the context of revolutionary modernity (war, authoritarianism, famine, migration) and under the watchful gaze of the ancestral “ghosts” of history.
Among Dorothy’s achievements during her tenure at the National Portrait Gallery have been important acquisitions focused on increasing the visibility of women sitters and artists in NPG collections, such as Amy Sherald's portrait of Michelle Obama and Hung Liu’s “Rat Year: 2020” self-portraits. She has also been a leader in broader Smithsonian activities, including serving as a speaker in the national touring People, Passion, Purpose campaign, and as coordinating co-curator of the Smithsonian American Women's History Initiative from 2018-2021. Known also for directing and revising the Outwin Boochever Portrait Competitions, Dorothy most recently curated “One Life: Maya Lin,” which is currently on display.
Of her new appointment, Dorothy says:
“I am thrilled and deeply honored to continue and extend work that I started with Hung Liu on her National Portrait Gallery exhibition in my new position as director of the Hung Liu Estate. In many ways, I feel that all roads have led me here; from my work at the Smithsonian to expand historical narratives, to my scholarship and exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery on women artists, and my long commitment to elevating artists who embrace the human spirit and advocate for human rights. In Hung, I found a brilliant and fierce advocate for women, a warrior whose archival work uncovered hidden histories, a groundbreaking conceptual artist, and a kindred spirit. I am deeply committed to ensuring that her legacy as one of the great artists of our time is secured internationally for generations to come. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the global art world, scholars, artists, and students to honor her legacy, introduce her to new generations, and share Hung's and my mutual passion for art, life, and history.”
For all her achievements, Dorothy’s passion for artists stands out. Professional detachment aside, it is her personal commitment to the artist and her story - and through it, to our stories - that characterizes the vivid intelligence she brings to the process of seeing the world through the eyes of an artist - especially Hung Liu, her “kindred spirit.”
Hung Liu Estate
January 30, 2023