Asia Week New York Zooms-in on “The Celestial City: Newport and China” September 12 at 5:00 p.m.

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New York: In conjunction with The Preservation Society of Newport County, Asia Week New York is pleased to present The Celestial City: Newport and China, a webinar that will explore Newport’s deep connection with China from the 18th century through the Gilded Age, on Tuesday, September 12th  at 5:00 p.m. EST. To register click here:

The webinar will focus on the treasures of Chinese art collected by Newport merchants and industrialists; photographs and stories from Newport’s early Chinese community; and the writings, portraits and family heirlooms of Chinese women suffragists who inspired American women’s rights leaders including Alva Vanderbilt Belmont of Marble House. Contemporary artworks by Yu-Wen Wu and Jennifer Ling Datchuk will illuminate Chinese contributions to Newport, as well as hidden connections between the Newport mansions and the Chinese American experience.

Credit: Courtesy of The Preservation Society of Newport County
Credit: Courtesy of The Preservation Society of Newport County

According to Trudy Coxe, CEO of the Preservation Society, some aspects of the Newport-China connection are well known, such as the fortunes made in the 19th-century China trade by the families of Chateau-sur-Mer and Kingscote, and Alva’s Chinese Tea House. However, many are not aware of the extent to which many different people of Chinese heritage contributed to life in this city, including immigrant entrepreneurs, suffragists, merchants, makers, and sailors.

The distinguished panel includes:

Dr. Nicole Williams is the Curator of Collections at The Preservation Society of Newport County. She earned her BA from Harvard College and her PhD from Yale University in the History of Art with a specialization in American art. Her work as a scholar and curator focuses on the global contexts for nineteenth-century American art, women’s histories, intersections between art and the law, and practices and theories of craft in an age of industry. Her research has been published in museum catalogues and scholarly journals, including Woman’s Art Journal, The Journal of Modern Craft, Nineteenth Century Art WorldwidePhotography and Culture, and Panorama: Journal of the Association of Historians of American Art.

Dr. Bing Huang, is Assistant Professor of Art History at Providence College, USA. She earned her PhD from the History of Art and Architecture department at Harvard University. Her research interests are broad and interdisciplinary, encompassing the confluence of Chinese and European artistic influences, the intricacies of Han Dynasty tombs and architecture, Buddhist art, and the evolving landscape of media and advanced technologies, including Virtual Reality (VR) and AI generative art. Her essays have appeared in scholarly journals including Studies in Chinese ReligionsWomen’s History Review, and Journal of Asian Architecture and Building Engineering.

Lark Mason founded the iGavel Auctions platform in 2003. Prior to that he served as Sotheby’s General Appraiser from 1979 until 1985, and as a Senior Vice President and specialist in Chinese art with Sotheby’s Chinese Works of Art Department from 1985-2003. From 2000-2003 he concurrently was a Director of Online Auctions for He also served as a consulting curator at the Trammell and Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, Texas from 2003-2009. As a generalist in American and European works of art and paintings, as well as an expert in the field of Chinese art, he has valued and advised many private collectors and institutions.

His eponymous Lark Mason Associates regularly hosts auctions on iGavel Auctions and has an established history of record sales of Chinese and other works of art and holds the record for the highest price achieved for any work of art in an online sale, for a painting sold in May 2014 that realized close to $4.2m. Mason is noted for his regular appearances on “The Antiques Road Show.”

About the Preservation Society of Newport CountyThe Preservation Society of Newport County is a non-profit organization whose mission is to protect, preserve, and present an exceptional collection of house museums and landscapes in one of the most historically intact cities in America. The Society holds in public trust the Newport Mansions which are an integral part of the living fabric of Newport, Rhode Island. These sites exemplify three centuries of the finest achievements in American architecture, decorative arts, and landscape design spanning the Colonial era to the Gilded Age. For more information, please visit

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