St. Lousians will have an exceptional opportunity to view rare objects on loan from the People’s Republic of China when the Saint Louis Art Museum presents Power and Glory: Court Arts of China’s Ming Dynasty, the first exhibition of its kind to focus on the art from China’s Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The exhibit opens February 22.
The exhibition is the first of its kind to focus solely on the art of the period and serves as a definitive guide to Ming court art that is both visually beautiful and significant. Many of the imperial objects are on view for the first time outside of China, and
St. Louis is one of only three U.S. venues for the exhibition.
Featuring more than 125 works including porcelain, paintings, textiles, lacquer ware, jade and precious metals, the exhibition explores the grandeur and opulence of one of the most important dynasties in Chinese history. The objects include not only artifacts made by imperial manufacturers, but also paintings created by emperors and other high-ranking officials.
“Power and Glory offers our community a unique opportunity to experience Chinese art and culture at a time when China is playing an increasingly important role in the world,” says Philip Hu, associate curator of Asian art for the Saint Louis Art Museum.
Hu continues, “As exports from Missouri reach past the $1 billion mark, and as many local firms and companies expand their operations in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and St. Louis’ sister cities Nanjing and Wuhan, regional interest in China is at its peak. The Museum is excited to present this exhibition and to offer public programs that will enhance awareness and understanding of Chinese art and culture.”
Works in the exhibition are drawn from three of China’s most prestigious institutions—The Palace Museum, Beijing; the Nanjing Municipal Museum; and the Shanghai Museum—along with objects from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the Saint Louis Art Museum’s own collection.
During the exhibition, the Saint Louis Art Museum will offer a full range of activities including free lectures, concerts and family activities.
For more information about public
programs offered during the exhibit call
(314) 721-0072 or visit www.slam.org.
Q&A with Philip Hu
Power and Glory will be curated by Philip Hu, associate curator of Asian art
for the Saint Louis Art Museum. The exhibition will be on view in the Museum’s Main Exhibition Galleries.
Why is this exhibit significant for the Saint Louis Art Museum?
The Saint Louis Art Museum has not had a special exhibition of Asian art since 1995, when Nihonga (a show on modern Japanese painting) was presented. The Ming exhibition reinforces the Museum’s commitment to bringing great art from all cultures to the people of St. Louis.
What are some important objects that Saint Louisians will be able to see?
Architectural fragments and archaeological artifacts from the first Ming capital at Nanjing; a great selection of paintings, including imperial portraits, landscapes, and narrative paintings; porcelains, lacquer ware, and other decorative arts of the
Why is the exhibit called Power and Glory?
In the earlier part of the Ming dynasty, especially during the fifteenth century, the Chinese empire was one of great wealth and power. Political power naturally translated into glorious architecture and art, as the court patronized the best artists and artisans of the realm, and provided them with all the resources that they needed to produce the most spectacular and sumptuous works of art possible.
What are some of the public programs the Museum will offer around the exhibit?
Numerous gallery talks focusing on various aspects of the xhibition; public lectures on special topics by experts in the field; demonstrations of Chinese painting and calligraphy; and concerts featuring traditional Chinese musical instruments.