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Asian Art Museum Oral History Project
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Interview Transcripts
Video Excerpts

Haydn Williams: Asian Art Museum Oral History Project [in process]

Conducted by Martin Meeker in 2013, Regional Oral History Office, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 2014.

Photo of Haydn Williams

Haydn Williams was born in 1919 in Spokane, Washington. He served in the Pacific Theater of World War II and was amongst the troops who liberated American prisoners of war. Horrified by what he witnessed in war, he decided to dedicate his life to bridging divides through diplomacy, education, and understanding. He earned a doctorate from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, worked in the US Department of Defense under Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy, and then became president of the Asia Foundation in 1963. He subsequently was named by Mayor Alioto the newly formed San Francisco Asian Art Museum Commission in 1969 and served on that commission until 1991. In this interview, Dr. Williams discusses the relationship between the Asia Foundation and the Asian Art Museum along with relationships between the museum and cultural leaders in Asia.


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