Pacific Asia Museum
Pasadena, California 91101
Open Wednesday through Sunday 10am to 6pm
Donor Profile: Setsuko Oka
Among the donors to the “quiet phase” of the Campaign for the Future are a number of members of a very special part of the museum family—the docents. Setsuko Oka became provisional docent in 1993 and after completing the vigorous training, she began leading student tours of the museum in 1994.
Setsuko, an educator by profession, has always had an interest in archaeology, anthropology and art, with a particular affinity for Japanese art. Her greatest travel experiences have been in museums all over the world, which she says are repositories for getting to know the people, history and culture of other countries. For her, Pacific Asia Museum is a wonderful resource for knowledge that students don’t get in the classroom. She is currently Chair of the Docents’ Educational Resources Committee, developing thematic tours that correlate the students’ experience in the museum with the curriculum that is being taught in classrooms today.
Some of her creative efforts as a docent were the educational exhibitions she and fellow docent Alice Stewart curated in the Student Gallery. These were designed to provide school groups with introductions to a succession of changing exhibits by illuminating the themes and cultural traditions behind the works of art in the exhibits. Disappointed when this space had to be converted to collections storage several years ago, she was reassured to learn that, as part of the Campaign, the Student Gallery will reopen as an interactive educational space in 2007.
Setsuko has contributed toward the renovation of the Gallery of Japanese Art and has committed her support for ongoing exhibitions and programs in the Gallery. The museum is proud and grateful to have her support.