The exhibition been organized by the National Palace Museum, Taipei, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
It is supported in part by The Henry Luce Foundation, The Starr Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, and an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. Transportation assistance has been provided by China Airlines.
Support for local presentation has been generously provided in part by The Chase Manhattan Private Bank, the Bernard Osher Foundation, KGO-Newstalk AM 810, KGOTV Channel 7, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Grants for the Arts of the San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund.
"Two catalogue volumes have been published to commemorate the exhibit. The full catalogue, “Possessing the Past: Treasures from the National Palace Museum,Taipei,” by Wen C. Fong and James C.Y.Wyatt, is 648 pages long, and is priced at$85. “Splendors of Imperial China: Treasures from the National Palace Museum,Taipei,” by Maxwell K. Hearn, is a beautiful, shorter (144 page) report of the exhibit, priced at $35. Both volumes are published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, N.Y. and the National Palace Muse-um, Taipei, and may be available in local libraries."
An unsurpassed survey of Chinese art treasures from one of the greatest collections in the world will be on view at the Asian Art Museum in Golden Gate Park from October 14 to December 8, 1996. Heralded by scholars and critics as the greatest exhibition of Chinese art ever presented in America,Splendors of Imperial China: Treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei spans over 4.000 years of Chinese history and features nearly 350 of the finest and most famous works from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, whose holdings are based on the personal collections of China's emperors. Included in the exhibition are priceless paintings, jades, bronzes, ceramics, textiles and lacquerware which were passed among China's imperial rulers from century to century.
|China Bronze Artifact|
Splendors of Imperial China has been organized by the National Palace Museum, Taipei, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, and is drawn entirely from the National Palace Museum, which possesses one of the world's richest and most renowned collections of Chinese art. On only two other occasions have exhibitions from the National Palace Museum been seen in the west - in London (1935-36) and in the United States (1961-62).
The works of art in the National Palace Museum, Taipei, are classified as national treasures; some have been passed down from dynasty to dynasty since the Northern Sung period (960-1127), the era when the foundation of the collection was amassed. The greater part of the Museum's vast collection entered the Palace during the reign of the Ch'ien-lung emperor (reigned 1736-95), and many of the objects, especially those in jade and bronze, are intimately connected with state rituals. Others have served as symbols of sovereign power such as the Emperor's jade seal, which in China is the equivalent of the crown of a European king.
Following the collapse of the Ch'ing dynasty in 1911 and the eventual expulsion of the last emperor from the Forbidden City in 1924, the Palace Museum opened in Peking in 1925. With the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and the imminent danger of an assault on northern China, the government took measures to safeguard the treasures in the Palace Museum. A large group of the finest objects was carefully placed into wooden crates and shipped south, beginning a 30-year odyssey that took the art over thousands of miles by train, boat, truck, and even hand towed barge, usually under the most adverse wartime conditions. At war's end, the nearly 20,000 crates, which had been divided into several shipments to avoid detection, were reunited in Nanking for a brief period before Chiang Kai-shek moved a selection of them containing more than 600,000 pieces to Taiwan in 1949. It was another 16 years - during which time the collection was stored first in sugar warehouses and then in specially constructed tunnels, before the National Palace Museum, Taipei, opened in 1965 and the public was again able to see this legacy of Chinese civilization.
Among the earliest treasures on view in Splendors of Imperial China are perforated discs (pi) of jade from the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC, and ancient bronze vessels from the Shang (c. 1600-1100 BC) and Chou (c. 1100-256 BC) dynasties. Remarkable examples of calligraphy, figure and landscape painting from the Sung dynasty (10th-13th century), and masterpieces by the creators and reformers of the literati (scholar-artist) tradition from the Sung through early Ch'ing periods (11th-18th century) are highlights.
Visitors to the San Francisco presentation of Splendors will have the opportunity to view numerous works that have never been seen outside of China. Two life-size imperial portraits -- Portrait of Sung Jen-tsung (anonymous, 11th century) and Portrait of the Hungwu emperor (anonymous, 14th century), are among those showcased. The exhibition features a selection of the finest known examples of imperial ceramics from the Sung through Ch'ing periods, as well as stunning cloisonne, enamels, snuff bottles, and writing tools. Rare treasures in jade are complemented by an array of lacquerwares including boxes, trays, vases and screens. Of particular note are the exquisite treasure boxes of the Ch'ien-lung emperor that replicate in miniature his personal favorites from the imperial collection.
|China Mystic Wealth Luck|
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