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Way Gar Wong collection

Identifier: 2008.022
This collection consists of materials related to Way Gar Wong's career as a Chinese opera performer. The majority of the collection includes opera costumes and accessories, such as hats, belts, and shoes, but there are also hair and makeup materials, such as wigs and wig pieces; a few stage props, like swords and fans; two framed photographs and a few print blocks; and some paper documents, including a flyer for a performance and an opera script. Only one item is dated, a receipt, which is from the 1980s, but the makeup appears to be from the 1920s so presumably the collection covers the decades between the 1920s-1980s.


  • Majority of material found in 1920s-1980s

Language of Materials

A few items are in Chinese.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

For reference use only; not for reproduction, distribution, or deposit in another collection. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Director of Collections. If publishing, cite: Way Gar Wong Collection, Museum of Chinese in America.


55 Linear Feet (36 archival boxes (13 large boxes; 23 regular size) plus 4 oversize objects) : 55 linear feet of opera costumes, props, makeup, print blocks, photographs, and paper documents

Biographical / Historical

Way Gar Wong was a Chinese American opera artist. He was the great uncle of Oymin Chin, a civil court judge from Brooklyn, New York, who donated this collection. Unfortunately, there is no information online or in the museum's possession regarding Way Gar Wong, and Oymin Chin passed away in 2011.


Arranged into five series alphabetically: [1] Accessories and costumes; [2] Hair and makeup material; [3] Paper documents; [4] Photographs; [5] Stage props.


This finding aid was created with grant support from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
Way Gar Wong Collection
Lauren Stark

Repository Details

Part of the Museum of Chinese in America Repository

70 Mulberry Street,2nd floor
New York NY 10013 USA