A Maryland banker has donated to a local university more than $800,000 worth of art that his parents had salvaged from their collection when they fled Mainland China more than 50 years ago.

I-Ling Chow, regional president and managing director of Asia Bank in Rockville, said the works will do more good at the University of Maryland University College in Adelphi than “sitting in my china closet and my bookcase.”

The school will use Mr. Chow’s gift and a similar donation from another Chinese businessman to create an online Chinese art history course.

Mr. Chow, 66, said his parents lost most of their collection in the chaos that engulfed China just before the Communist takeover in 1949, rescuing only what they could fit into the family station wagon.

Later, Mr. Chow said, he heard “horror stories” of younger Chinese-Americans giving priceless works of art away or selling them for a fraction of their value.

Mr. Chow, whose father was a regional president of the Bank of China before the Chinese Revolution, spent four years at a bank in Taiwan, and after immigrating to the United States in 1960 worked at banks in Pennsylvania and Georgia. He went to work for the U.S. government as an economist in 1974 and retired from that post April 30, 1999. He reported to work the next day at Asia Bank, which is based in New York but has an office in Rockville.

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