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Virtual Enrichment: Behind the scenes with the Department of Engagement and Visitor Experience


29 MARCH 2022 

21:00 HKT (Tuesday)

09:00 PDT (Tuesday)

14:00 CET (Tuesday)

13:00 GMT (Tuesday)


Gretchen Welch

Paul Ruther


Li-Chun Hu


Join us on a virtual tour with Smithsonian, the National Museum of Asian Art, with Paul Ruther and Gretchen Welch.

Learn from Paul Ruther how public engagement is improved with the docent tour programmes and how this program has transitioned during the pandemic at the Smithsonian. Gretchen Welch will take you on an immersive virtual tour to marvel at the amazing works of art in the Peacock room.

About the speakers

Gretchen Welch is a volunteer docent for the National Museum of Asian Art, the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, in Washington DC.  Before joining the docent program in 2018, she was a Foreign Service Officer with the US State Department, serving in Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UK, as well as in Washington DC.


Gretchen grew up in Iowa and Southern California and graduated from Stanford University in 1978.  After retiring from the State Department in 2012, Gretchen attended SOAS at the University of London, where she received a post-graduate diploma in Asian Art in 2016. 

GGWelch photo.jpeg

Paul Ruther is the Manager, Docent Programs at the National Museum of Asian Art. He has held this position since 2013 and has led the program through the recruitment and training of two new docent classes and just in the past year the successful implementation of online tours. He has a MA in Art History from the American University. After graduating, Paul worked at the curatorial department at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and was in the Education Department for ten years at the Phillips Collection.


About the moderator

Li-Chun Hu is an independent art consultant specialising in Chinese ceramics and works of art.  She has a background in classical music and industrial design before receiving her Master's in Art Market & Appraisals in England. Li-Chun's profession takes her to international Chinese art auctions, and she continues to give advisory services to private collectors, dealers, and regional auction houses around the world. Her connoisseurship, experience, and market acumen help her source the highest quality objects for a global client base.

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