The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837, and the history of the University's schools and colleges. This project is part of a larger effort to prepare resources for the University's bicentennial in 2017. Find out more.

The Bentley Historical Library serves as the official archives for the University.


Mignonette Yin Cheng
Regent's Proceedings 28

Mignonette Y. Cheng, professor of art in the School of Art and Design,
retired from active faculty status on May 31, 1996, after a 33-year career as
an artist, teacher, and researcher.

Born in China, Professor Cheng received her early training in classical
Chinese painting at the Russian Art Academy in Shanghai. In 1953, she was
awarded a merit-based Trustee's Scholarship from Ohio University, where
she received her B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees in 1957 and 1959, respectively.
Professor Cheng joined the faculty of the former College of Architecture and
Design as an instructor in 1963. She was promoted to lecturer and then
instructor in 1967, assistant professor in 1969, associate professor in 1971,
and professor in 1975. A superior teacher with exceptional dedication to her
students, Professor Cheng received the University's Teaching Excellence
Award in 1990. Over the course of her career, Professor Cheng also taught at
the University of Michigan/University of Wisconsin International Studies
Program in Florence, Italy. She was appointed director of this program in

Professor Cheng received, three Rackham Research Grants, in 1975, 1982,
and 1988. The first was for the study of ancient Asian "B'iao" techniques
and rice paper as a contemporary medium; the second was for the study of
the tonality and structure of the English landscape; and the third was for
research in wax emulsion and oil painting, which culminated in a
retrospective exhibition at the University of Michigan Museum of Art in
1988. She has also long been recognized with extensive regional, national,
and international awards, exhibitions, and solo shows. In October 1995,
Professor Cheng was honored with a retrospective exhibition at the Bobbitt
Visual Arts Center at Albion College, Albion, Michigan. Currently, she is
exhibiting a major show, "Themes and Variations," at the School of Art and
Design's Jean Paul Slusser Gallery, comprised of a group of watercolors
from her new book, Mignonette Yin Cheng: Watercolors of Italy (University
of Michigan Press, June 1996). Professor Cheng's work is also included in
the permanent collections of many museums and in corporate and private

The Regents now salute this distinguished artist, teacher, and researcher for
her dedicated service by naming Mignonette Y. Cheng professor emerita of