Robe of State for a high-degree official (detail) (Guangxu period, 1875–1908), embroidery with silk, couched gold thread and pekin knot on satin, Collection of Dr. and Mrs. Robert Hamberger, Wellesley, MA
Chair (detail) (Kangxi period, 1662–1722), lacquer, Collection of Drs. John K. Fong and Colin Johnstone
ELEGANCE OF THE QING COURT: Reflections of a Dynasty through its Art
March 1 - June 8, 2008
The Qing (pronounced ching) Dynasty in China began in 1662 with the Emperor Kangxi and endured for more than 250 years. During this period an empire which, at its height, possessed technology, art, and grandeur beyond imagination, descended into a land of chaos, poverty, and internal revolt. This dramatic rise and fall is reflected in the art of the period. Rather than focus on the production of only one emperor's reign — a restriction that does not allow for an overall picture of the splendor of the work, or for a demonstration of how the finest of 18th century work relates to the decline during the 19th century — this exhibition spans the entire dynasty, presenting over 200 works of porcelain, metal, lacquer, textiles, ivory, and jade produced under the supervision of the Court and in the Imperial workshops. The objects, many created for the Court or its officials, offer visitors the opportunity to experience the magnificence of Qing creativity at its finest contrasted by the decline into production of items for commerce as the dynasty drew to a close. Included are examples of porcelain from the Imperial kilns at Jingdezhen, with their remarkable glazes and enameling; a range of textiles demonstrating Court dress; furniture from the Summer Palace; and smaller objects, such as belt buckles and abstinence plaques. A highlight is the 18th-century, eight-panel, carved red lacquer screen recently acquired by Joslyn Art Museum, which will, for the first time, be placed in the context of Qing Dynasty decorative arts.
For more information please visit: The Joslyn Art Museum