Oscar Tang

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Oscar Tang and his wife Agnes Hsu -Tang at the NY Philharmonic Chinese New Year gala in 2013

Oscar Liu-Chien Tang (Chinese: 唐騮千; pinyin: Táng Liúqiān) is a Chinese-born American financier[1] who co-founded Reich & Tang, an asset management firm. Tang was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2005. Prior, he was appointed to the New York State Council on the Arts from 2000 to 2004 and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities from 1990 to 1993.[2]

Early years[edit]

Tang was born in Shanghai, China, and his family fled from the country when the Communist revolution took over in 1949. Tang attended Phillips Academy in Andover and graduated in 1956. His future wife, Frances Young, attended Andover's sister school, Abbot Academy, and she went on to Skidmore College. Tang's lifelong dedication to Andover as the largest donor in the school's history and a champion for education was profiled in a 2012 documentary "An Andover Life".[3]

Tang was a member of Delta Kappa Epsilon at Yale University and received a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1960, Tang married Frances Young.[4] Tang received an M.B.A degree from Harvard Business School. His wife graduated from Skidmore in 1961.

Tang's maternal grandfather was Wen Bingzhong (Chinese: 温秉忠; 1862-1938), one of the 120 young boys sent by the late Qing imperial court to study in America during the Chinese Education Mission established by China's first student to graduate from an American University (Yale), Yung Wing (Chinese: 容閎). Tang's grandfather was the first Chinese person to be documented in the Northampton, MA census in 1880. After his return to China, he later served as a high-level foreign service official.[5] Tang's father was P.Y. Tang (Chinese: 唐炳源), a Boxer indemnity scholarship student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who became one of the early civic and business leaders of post-1949 Hong Kong; he was also a leading philanthropist in education. He was widely respected for his business success and as a civic leader. Tang received many honors in his lifetime including Justice of the Peace and Order of the British Empire. He died in Hong Kong in 1971. Oscar Tang has talked about his family's roots in American education publicly and attributes his own experience and philanthropy to his family history.[6]

Business career and family[edit]

Tang began his career at Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, or DLJ. After the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, Tang worked with other high-profile Chinese-Americans to found the Committee of 100, including Yo-yo Ma and I.M. Pei, to "encourage rapport and understanding between two countries."[7]

Tang's wife Frances Young Tang was a philanthropist who specialized in landmark preservation. In 1992, she died at the age of 53 from cancer. A gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is named after her, as is the Tang Art Museum at Skidmore College, her alma mater.[8] She was a stepdaughter of the Chinese diplomat Wellington Koo.[9] In 2013 Tang married Dr. Agnes Hsu-Tang (née Hsin-Mei Hsu 徐心眉),[10] a Penn-, Cambridge-, and Stanford-educated archaeologist[11] and UNESCO advisor on the faculty at Columbia University.[12] Hsu has been dubbed by the Chinese press as "China's Lara Croft" for her hosting of the award-winning documentary series Mysteries of China.[13][14] Chinese and Singaporean press has widely reported that Hsu is a descendant of the Ming dynasty Catholic imperial minister Xu Guangqi[15] 徐光启 who was beatified by the Vatican on April 15, 2011[16] and regarded by many to be the founder of modern Shanghai. Xujiahui 徐家汇 (the District of the "Xu/Hsu Clan) is the historical center of Shanghai.[17] Hsu's maternal great-grandfather was Ji Xiaolan 紀晓岚, the Qianlong Emperor's imperial minister of war and poet laureate. Tang's daughter Tracy Tang Limpe is a philanthropist and the chairman of the board at the Masters School in Dobbs Ferry, NY, her alma mater.[18] Another daughter, Dana Tang, an architect, married Andrew Haid Darrell in 1998.[19] Tang's brother was Jack Chi-chien Tang (唐驥千), a prominent business leader, educator, philanthropist in Hong Kong and one of the founders of the Asia Society Hong Kong Center in 1990.[20][21] Tang's brother-in-law was the distinguished Princeton University professor, Dr. Wen Fong (方闻),[22] who was attributed to have "helped to create and shape the academic field of East Asian art history as we know it today."[23]

Tang resides in New York City and Vail, Colorado with his wife. Tang was honored as Vail Valley's Citizen of the Year in 2004.

Town and Country featured Tang and his family as one of the fifty most influential families in media, art, and culture in its 2018 T&C50 issue.[24]


This 962 A.D. painting by Chinese artist Dong Yuan is one of the earliest landscapes which created the illusion of depth and distance on a silk canvas. Tang bought it for New York's Metropolitan Museum in 1997.

According to published data, Tang has given away $200–250 million as of 2010.[25] Among other recognitions for his philanthropy, Tang is an honoree of the Carnegie Corporation's "Great Immigrants: The Pride of America."[26] Tang is known to be a significant donor to institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art,[27] the New York Philharmonic, Yale University,[28] Skidmore College,[29] the Vail Valley Foundation,[30] the Gordon Parks Foundation,[31][32] and other organizations. Tang has also contributed to other institutions including the Tang Center for Early China at Columbia University,[33] the Princeton University's P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art,[34] the Tang Center at MIT,[35] Duke University,[36] University of California, Berkeley,[37][38] Cornell University,[37] and Harvard University. In 2008, he gave $25 million to Phillips Academy in what was the school's largest ever single contribution.[39] In 2014, he donated an additional $15 million to Andover to establish the Tang Institute at Andover. At The Rectory School in Pomfret, Connecticut, Tang donated the P.Y and Kinmay Tang Performing Arts Center and has created the Tang Family Endowment for Excellence in Teaching with $5 million.

In June 2016, Tang was honored by the Metropolitan Museum with its Business Committee Civic Leadership Award for his service and contribution as a longtime trustee and philanthropist.[40]

Phillips Academy and the Tang Institute at Andover[edit]

In 2008, Tang gave $25 million to Phillips Academy.[39] It was the largest single donation in the school's 230-year history.[39] The gift was used to support "need-blind admission" allowing smart students from less affluent families to attend the elite boarding school, according to headmaster Barbara Landis Chase.[39] As of 2008, Tang has contributed close to $41 million to Phillips Academy, helping boost the school's endowment over $800 million.[39] Before being instated as the President of the Phillips Academy Board of Trustees, he was a charter trustee since 1995 and a major school volunteer for over two decades. He was instrumental in preserving the buildings and campus of the former Abbot Academy, which merged with Phillips Academy, when there had been discussion about razing the no-longer-used structures; Tang's philanthropy gave funds for preservation of these buildings.

In October 2014, Tang gave an additional $15 million to establish the Tang Institute at Andover.[41] "A physical and virtual hub for entrepreneurial exploration, the Tang Institute at Andover supports community ideas for innovative approaches to teaching and learning. Focused on the Andover experience and advances in secondary education more broadly, the Institute encourages experimentation, interdisciplinary collaboration, new partnerships, connected learning, and ongoing assessment. By harnessing the intellectual curiosity and creativity of faculty and students—both in and out of the classroom—the Tang Institute seeks to have a lasting impact on campus and beyond."

Metropolitan Museum of Art[edit]

Tang is a member of the board of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.[42] He gave $14 million in 1997 to enable the museum to purchase rare and valuable Chinese paintings, most notably what is commonly known as the Riverbank by Dong Yuan.[43] His gift included 11 major paintings from the C.C. Wang collection and additional funding toward Chinese art galleries. A gallery is named after Tang's late wife, Frances Young Tang.

In March 2015, Tang, the first Chinese-American trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for more than 20 years and a leading patron of its Chinese collection, gave an additional $15 million to create new curatorial and conservation staff appointments and programming to the Museum's Asian Centennial.[44][45]

Tang received the Met Museum's Civic Leadership Award in June 2016.

New York Philharmonic[edit]

Oscar L. Tang was elected to be the next Co-Chairman of the New York Philharmonic, with Peter W. May, on April 3, 2019.[46] Both Peter May and Oscar Tang currently serve on the Board of Directors, and have supported Philharmonic projects including co-chairing Opening, Lunar New Year, and Spring Galas. Tang and his wife have chaired the orchestra's popular Lunar New Year Concert and Gala since its inception in 2011. The New York Philharmonic is one of the American orchestras commonly referred to as the "Big Five" and the oldest American symphonic institution. The Philharmonic's home is David Geffen Hall, located in New York's Lincoln Center.

The P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art at Princeton University[edit]

Tang funded the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art in honor of his parents.

The P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for Silk Road Studies at the University of California, Berkeley[edit]

Tang and his wife, and his nieces and nephew—Nadine Tang, Leslie Schilling, and Martin Tang—provided an endowment gift to Berkeley to establish the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center.[47]

The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College[edit]

Tang gave $10.2 million for the Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in 2000.[29] The purpose of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery is to awaken the community to the richness and diversity of the human experience through the medium of art. Every year the Museum has a designated day in honor of its namesake and alumna, Frances Young Tang, called Frances Day.[48]

Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion Exhibition at the -[edit]

In September 2014, the New-York Historical Society opened "Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion", with support of the Tang family.[49] The New-York Historical Society later donated this exhibition to the Chinese Historical Society of America in San Francisco, where it is now on permanent display.


  1. ^ "The emperor's gift". The Economist. 14 July 2016. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  2. ^ "MEMBERS - Committee 100". Committee100.org. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  3. ^ An Andover Life documentary on Youtube
  4. ^ "Frances L. Young Betrothed To Oscar Tang, Yale 1960". The New York Times. June 1960. Retrieved 2010-01-10.
  5. ^ "CEM Connections - Won Bing Chung". Cemconnections.org. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ LIZ PEEK (May 8, 2007). "Lulu Wang Throttles Back (Except on the Racetrack)". New York Sun. Retrieved 2010-01-10. ... a group of high-level Chinese-Americans — who include I.M. Pei, Yo-Yo Ma, and Oscar Tang — created shortly after the Tiananmen Square crackdown to "encourage rapport and understanding between two countries that I love and have great loyalty to,...
  8. ^ Eric Pace (February 4, 1992). "Frances Tang, 53; Was Philanthropist and Preservationist". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-10. Frances Young Tang, a philanthropist in the field of education and a preservationist specializing in landmark buildings, died on Friday at her home in Manhattan. She was 53 years old ...
  9. ^ "屈山河: 顧維鈞遺孀嚴幼韻107歲傳奇 - 纵览中国". Chinainperspective.com. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
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  12. ^ [3][dead link]
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  19. ^ "WEDDINGS; Dana Tang and Andrew Darrell". The New York Times: Style. February 8, 1998. Retrieved 2010-01-10. Dana Tang, a daughter of Oscar L. Tang of New York and the late Frances Young Tang, was married last evening to Andrew Haid Darrell,
  20. ^ "In Memory of Dr. Jack Tang Chi-chien". Asia Society. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  21. ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (12 November 2007). "For Chinese-Americans, Schools Earn the Prize". Nytimes.com. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
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  23. ^ "Wen Fong, 'giant in the field of Chinese art history,' dies at 88". Princeton University. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  24. ^ Editors, The (17 October 2018). "The T&C 50: The Most Influential Families in Media, Art, and Culture". Town & Country. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  25. ^ static.ow.ly/docs/power%20100_Y55.pdf
  26. ^ [7][dead link]
  27. ^ JUDITH H. DOBRZYNSKI (May 19, 1997). "11 Major Chinese Paintings Promised to Met". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-10. ... Six of the works in the gift will go on display immediately in the galleries, whose expansion was a two-year, $14 million project. The gift is being made by Oscar L. Tang, an investment manager who is a trustee of the Metropolitan and put up the money for the paintings. ...
  28. ^ "Yale University Bulletin - School of Architecture 2017–2018 - Endowment and Term Funds". bulletin.printer.yale.edu. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  29. ^ a b HOLLAND COTTER (December 22, 2000). "ART REVIEW; Party Time: Inside and Out, Playful Wit Reigns at Skidmore's New Museum". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-10. The Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery is on the campus of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. ... Paid for mostly by a gift from the Chinese-born American businessman Oscar Tang, whose daughter and wife Frances both graduated from Skidmore, the $10.2 million museum ...
  30. ^ "Vail Valley Foundation - Arts, Athletics, Education". Vail Valley Foundation. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  31. ^ "The Gordon Parks Foundation". Gordonparksfoundation.org. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  32. ^ June 7, 2009 (June 7, 2009). "EVENING HOURS; June Moon". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-10. The Gordon Parks Foundation, which preserves and promulgates the work of Mr. Parks, a groundbreaking photographer, had a dinner at Gotham Hall ... OSCAR TANG,
  33. ^ "Upcoming Events". ealac.columbia.edu. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  34. ^ "Tang Center for East Asian Art - Tang Center for East Asian Art". tang.princeton.edu. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  35. ^ "MIT Building E51 (Tang Center) - Serving Boston computer professionals for over 50 years". Gbcacm.org. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
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  37. ^ a b Fabrikant, Geraldine (November 12, 2007). "For Chinese-Americans, Schools Earn the Prize". The New York Times.
  38. ^ Brice, Anne (May 4, 2017). "Berkeley to open first university center for Silk Road study in North America". The University of California.
  39. ^ a b c d e Globe Staff (February 6, 2008). "Alumnus donates $25 million to Phillips Academy". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-01-10. Phillips Academy in Andover announced today that the school had received a $25 million donation, the largest single gift in its 230-year history, from retired Wall Street investor Oscar L. Tang.
  40. ^ "Bloomberg - Are you a robot?". Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
  41. ^ [9][dead link]
  42. ^ Bill Cunningham (December 9, 2007). "EVENING HOURS; Season of Giving". The New York Times: Style. Retrieved 2010-01-10. The Acquisitions Fund Benefit for the Metropolitan Museum of Art held a gala for the opening of the new 19th- and early-20th-century galleries. ... and OSCAR TANG with
  43. ^ JUDITH H. DOBRZYNSKI (May 25, 1997). "Landscapes Were Never The Same". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-01-10. Southern Tang Dynasty scholar Dong Yuan created the illusion of depth and distance as he painted mountains and rivers on silk. He was a founder of the Chinese monumental landscape style. Last week, when the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York opened its new Chinese galleries, one of a few surviving works attributed to Dong Yuan, The Riverbank, had pride of place. ... Part of the renowned collection of 90-year-old C. C. Wang, an artist who escaped from Communist China in the 1950s, it had been bought for the Met by the financier Oscar L. Tang.
  44. ^ [10][dead link]
  45. ^ Gamerman, Ellen (6 May 2015). "For China Show, the Met Goes Where the Money Is". Wsj.com. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
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  47. ^ Brice, Anne; May 3, Berkeley News; 2017May 3; 2017 (3 May 2017). "UC Berkeley to open first university center for Silk Road study in North America". Berkeley News. Retrieved 19 May 2019.
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  49. ^ "Explore". Chineseamerican.nyhistory.org. Retrieved 19 May 2019.

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