Friday, 14 August 2015

Met Opens Asian Art Exhibitions Featuring Dynasties’ Silk and Gold

New York Times  August 12, 2015
The 100th anniversary celebration of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Asian Art department continues this month with the opening of exhibitions on Chinese lacquer and textiles.
The show on lacquer, which opened Saturday, includes works donated in March by the philanthropists Florence and Herbert Irving — among them trays, dishes and boxes, some made of carved red and black lacquer, others inlaid with mother-of-pearl or gold. Historical narratives, mythical animals and motifs symbolic of longevity and prosperity are pictured.
The importance of silk in China is explored in a textile show (which also opened Saturday) that features three rare pieces from the Tang dynasty, a Song dynasty tapestry scroll cover and Yuan dynasty examples of cloth woven with gold thread. Among the other highlights: an imperial 14th-century canopy decorated with phoenixes and flowers. (

Welcoming Spring (detail)Unidentified Artist (Chinese, 14th–15th century). Welcoming Spring (detail), 15th century. Ming dynasty (1368–1644). China. Silk embroidery on silk gauze; 84 x 25 in. (213.4 x 63.5 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Purchase, The Dillon Fund Gift, 1981 (1981.410)
The exhibition is made possible by the Joseph Hotung Fund

Chinese Textiles

Ten Centuries of Masterpieces from the Met Collection

August 15, 2015–June 19, 2016

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Purchase advance tickets to avoid waiting in admission lines. Exhibitions are free with Museum admission.
This installation, which explores the cultural importance of silk in China, will showcase the most important and unusual textiles from the Museum's collection. In addition to three rare pieces dating from the Tang dynasty (618–906), when China served as a cultural hub linking Korea and Japan to Central and West Asia, and, ultimately to the Mediterranean world, the exhibition also includes eleventh- and twelfth-century tapestries from Central Asia, as well as contemporaneous Chinese examples of this technique.
Spectacular embroideries—including an imperial fourteenth-century canopy decorated with phoenixes and flowers, and a monumental late seventeenth- or early eighteenth-century panel showing phoenixes in a garden—will also be on view, together with theatrical garments, court costumes, and early examples of badges worn at court to designate rank.

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