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Sir Joseph Hotung

Sir Joseph Hotung

Sir Joseph Hotung passed away on 16 December 2021. His obituary can be read here.

Sir Joseph Hotung was a successful businessman, a knowledgeable collector of Chinese art and a generous philanthropist. Born in China, schooled in Shanghai and Tianjin, he completed his higher education in the USA. He later received an LLB from the University of London external programme. Having initially taken up employment in Marine Midland Bank, New York, he started his own business in Hong Kong. He subsequently served on the boards of HSBC and HSBC Holdings as a non-executive director.

Throughout his career Sir Joseph Hotung actively participated in public and community affairs in Hong Kong and in London. Among his many and varied positions he acted as Council Member at the University of Hong Kong and served as Chairman of the Arts Development Council, Hong Kong and as a member of the SOAS Governing Body.

Sir Joseph was an acclaimed and knowledgeable collector of Chinese art, especially Chinese jades, porcelain, bronzes and Chinese Ming furniture. He served on a number of boards and committees of several major international museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York where he was Trustee Emeritus and a life fellow; the Freer Gallery in Washington D.C. where he was an Honorary Member of the Visiting Committee, and at the British Museum as a Trustee from 1994-2004 and where he made possible the construction of new galleries, including the Joseph E. Hotung Gallery of Oriental Antiquities.

Through his interests, knowledge and generous support, Sir Joseph was an outstanding friend and ambassador for SOAS. His major research initiatives at the School included a project on human rights in China, and the Sir Joseph Hotung Programme in Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East in 2003, which continues to this day. For his contribution and participation in many educational and governmental organisations and his numerous charitable activities, Sir Joseph was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1993. He was awarded an Hon. DLitt at the University of Hong Kong in 1997 and an Hon. DSc (Economics) at the University of London in 2003.