浙江杭州人。自幼随父常书鸿在敦煌临摹壁画。1931年生于法国里昂，由于出生地毗邻塞纳河而得名sona，法文意为“阴性”，中文名即为沙娜。1948年赴美国留学。1950年回国后，在清华大学、地方 美术学院任教。我国著名的艺术设计教育家和艺术设计家、教授、国家有突出贡献的专家。 现为第九届全国人民代表大会常务委员会委员，教科文卫专门委员会委员，中国美术家协会副主席，中华全国妇女联合会第5 届履行 委员。曾任国务院学术委员会学科评议组成员。
1951年初回国，前后 在清华大学修建 系、地方 美术学院实用美术系、地方 工艺美术学院染织美术设计系任教，教授图案基础、传统图案临摹、花卉写生、专业艺术设计等课程。
1953 年全国高教院系调整，调地方 美术学院实用美术系任助教。 1956 年成立地方 工艺美术学院，前后 任染织美术系讲师、副教授、教授。
1956年后，历任地方 工艺美术学院讲师、副教授、染织美术系副主任、副院长、院长，中国美协第三届理事、第四届常务理事，中国国际文明 交流中心思 事，全国妇联第5 届执委。
1983年至1998年任地方 工艺美术学院院长，院学术委员会主任。当选中国共产党第十二次、十三次全国代表大会代表。第七、八、九届全国人民代表大会代表；第九届全国人民代表大会常务委员会委员；第八、九届人大、教科文卫委员会委员、中国美术家协会副会长、中国国际文明 交流中心思 事、欧美同学会副会长及留美分会副会长、首都第1 届女教授联谊会会长。
作为国内外知名的敦煌艺术和工艺美术设计研讨 专家，常沙娜曾前后 参加了中国共产主义青年团团徽、人民大会堂外立面的建筑装潢 和宴会厅的建筑装潢 图案设计，和 民族文明 宫、首都剧场、首都机场、燕京饭店、中国记者协会、中国大饭店等国家重点建筑工程的建筑装潢 设计和壁画创作。1997年，掌管 并参加设计地方 人民政府赠送香港特区的大型礼品雕塑《永久 盛开的紫荆花》。
常沙娜教授长时间 从事中国古代壁画及传统装潢 图案的研讨 和临摹，并结合古代 装潢 图案设计的创新需求 ，进行了多方面的、具有中国传统风格和古代 装潢 特点的创作设计。常沙娜教授在熟悉和擅长应用 传统图案的同时，重视 探索艺术的“源与流”的融合关系。她从大自然的花卉形状 中，不断汲取丰富多样的、美的图案外型 素材。绘录了大量千姿百态的“花”的抽象 ，体察大自然赋予植物花卉美的神韵和情趣，作为图案外型 、构成及色彩的补充，从而构成 她独有的装潢 图案风格。
Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province. From childhood, he imitated murals in Dunhuang with his father's Changshu Hong. Born in Lyon, France, in 1931, Sona was named after her birthplace adjacent to the Seine River. It means "negative" in French and "Shana" in Chinese. In 1948, he went to the United States to study. After returning to China in 1950, he taught at Tsinghua University and Central Academy of Fine Arts. Our country's famous artistic design educators and artistic designers, professors, experts with outstanding contributions from the country. He is now a member of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress, a member of the Special Committee on Education, Culture and Health, a vice-chairman of the Chinese Artists Association, and the fifth executive member of the All-China Women's Federation. He was a member of the disciplinary review team of the Academic Committee of the State Council.
Born in France in March 1931
Lyon, returned home with his parents in 1937. Is our country's famous art design educator and art designer, professor, the country has outstanding contribution experts.
From 1945 to 1948, he copied Dunhuang murals with his father, the famous painter Changshu Hong, and studied traditional culture, art and painting. He also co-organized a "Father and Daughter Painting Exhibition" with his father to exhibit the works copied by his father and daughter in Dunhuang Mogao Grottoes.
In 1948, he went to the Academy of Fine Arts of Boston Museum of Fine Arts to study painting.
In early 1951, he returned to China and taught in the Construction Department of Tsinghua University, the Practical Art Department of Central Academy of Fine Arts and the Dyeing and Weaving Art Design Department of Central Academy of Arts and Crafts. He taught such courses as pattern foundation, traditional pattern copying, flower sketching and professional art design.
In 1953, the National College of Higher Education was adjusted to serve as an assistant in the Department of Practical Fine Arts of the Central Academy of Fine Arts. In 1956, the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts was established, successively serving as lecturer, associate professor and professor of the Department of Dyeing and Weaving Arts.
Since 1956, he has been a lecturer, associate professor, deputy director, Deputy Dean and Dean of the Department of Dyeing and Weaving Arts of the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts, the third and fourth executive directors of the Chinese Association of Fine Arts, the director of the China Center for International Cultural Exchange and the fifth Executive Committee of the All-China Women's Federation.
He joined the Communist Party of China in 1964.
In 1960 and 1983, he was awarded the title of "National March Eighth Red Flag Handler" twice.
In 1982, he was appointed Vice President of the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts.
From 1983 to 1998, he was president of the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts and director of the Academic Committee of the Academy. Elected to the 12th and 13th National Congresses of the Communist Party of China. Representatives of the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth National People's Congresses; members of the Standing Committee of the Ninth National People's Congress; members of the Eighth and Ninth National People's Congresses, the UNESCO Health Committee, the Vice-President of the Chinese Artists Association, the Director of the China Center for International Cultural Exchange, the Vice-President of the European and American Students'Association and the Vice-President of the Residence Association in the United States, Capital No. President of a Female Professors Association.
Tenth Honorary Member of the Chinese Federation of Literature and Art Circles
In December 2018, he was elected the ninth consultant of China Association of Arts.
As a well-known expert in Dunhuang arts and crafts design at home and abroad, Changshana has participated in the architectural decoration design of the emblem of the Communist Youth League of China, the facade of the Great Hall of the People and the banquet hall, as well as the national cultural palace, the Capital Theatre, the Capital Airport, the Yanjing Hotel and Chinese journalists. Association, China Hotel and other key national construction projects of architectural decoration design and mural creation. In 1997, he presided over and participated in the design of the large-scale gift sculpture "Bauhinia Flowers Forever Blooming" presented to the HKSAR by the Central People's Government.