The report by Professor C.R. Dodwell, commissioned by HKU, recommends that the university establish a Department of Fine Arts whose mission would be to teach art history, as a complement to the only existing tertiary programme in the visual arts at that time, CUHK’s Department of Fine Arts, which specialized in studio art. The Department is set up with an establishment of 6 teaching positions, to be filled gradually.


The Department opens, initially offering one full-year course in Chinese art to 11 students. The full-time teaching staff includes Chuang Shen (seconded from the Department of Chinese) as Head and Judy Ho. The support staff includes Clara Wong as Secretary and Kitty as Clerk. The Department is housed in the Fung Ping Shan Building, sharing space with the Fung Ping Shan Museum. Together with the Hong Kong Arts Centre, the Department organizes its first exhibition, “A Retrospective Exhibition of the Works of Fan Tchun-pi”, in the Pao Sui Loong Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre and the Fung Ping Shan Museum to mark the establishment of the Department of Fine Arts.


The Department begins to offer Western art history with the hiring of Carolyn Muir. Judy Ho resigns after the first semester, so that the teacher staff remains at 2. Karen Wong is hired as the Department’s first Resources Officer, and Alan Lui as the Department’s first Technician. The Department organizes the exhibition, “An Exhibition of Works By Huang Binhong”, in the Pao Sui Loong Galleries, Hong Kong Arts Centre.

Fine Arts staff and students in 1979

Students setting up the Fine Arts Society’s booth

Staff and students at the tea gathering