Private collection of Dr. Olaf Skinsnes
Dr. Olaf K. Skinsnes (1917-1997) was born in Henan in 1917 to parents who were medical missionaries. After he grew up in China and attended university in the United States, Dr. Skinsnes lived and worked in Hong Kong with his wife for ten years, where he focused on the study and treatment of leprosy. Subsequently, they returned to the States and helped found the University of Hawaii's John A. Burns School of Medicine in 1967. In 1985 his friend Dr. George Hatem (1910-1988) invited Dr. Skinsnes to serve as an advisor at the Sun Yatsen School of Medical Research in Zhongshan. They lived there until 1995 when his health forced him to return to his family in the States. Fluent in Chinese and keen about its culture, Dr. Skinsnes collected Chinese art beginning in 1949 and purchased items from well-established artists through his artist friend.