Splendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong

Begin Date2004-11-21
End Date2005-05-29
Last Harvested At2022-10-29
Credit LineSplendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong, and its national tour were developed by The Field Museum, Chicago, in cooperation with the Palace Museum, Beijing. The exhibition was supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities. The Dallas venue is made possible by Nancy B. Hamon and presented by JPMorgan Chase with support from Texas Instruments and PAJ, Inc. The installation and opening member events are generously underwritten by the Dallas Museum of Art League. The exhibition lecture series is supported by the Boshell Family Foundation. Additional support provided by the Wang Foundation, Courtney Wang Trustee, FedEx Kinko's Office and Print Services, Inc., Towers Perrin, Jim and Hong Bass and the Richard D. Bass Foundation, Robert W. Hsueh-Attorney at Law, Pacific Northern, Inc., Mr. and Mrs. Richard Yip on behalf of R. Benjamin Yip in honor of Mr. and Mrs. S. Y. Chow, and the Donor Circle Membership Program through a leadership gift of Jennifer and John Eagle/John Eagle Dealerships. The hotel partner for the exhibition is The Wyndham Anatole. Air transportation provided by American Airlines. Promotional support provided by CBS 11, Comcast, The Dallas Morning News, and Infinity Broadcasting: KLUV, KOAI, KRLD, KVIL,
LocationChilton Gallery II and Focus Gallery I
DescriptionThe Dallas Museum of Art will present what is considered to be one of the most important and historical art exhibitions from China to tour the United States, Splendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong, which opens November 21, 2004 and closes May 29, 2005. As one of only two U.S. venues for this landmark show, the Dallas Museum of Art will bring more than 400 national treasures and artifacts from 18th-century imperial China to the Southwest. Splendors of China's Forbidden City offers a dramatic examination of the reign of Emperor Qianlong. Most of the included artifacts have never been exhibited in the United States prior to the exhibition's U.S. debut, and the great majority of the objects have never left the Forbidden City Palace Museum in Beijing. Emperor Qianlong ('cheeyen-loong') ruled for sixty years (1736-1795), during China's last imperial dynasty, the Qing dynasty. His reign was longer than any other emperor in Chinese history apart from his grandfather, Kangxi. The emperor is best known to art historians as a collector who amassed the largest collection of art known up to that point in China. His passion for collecting extended to paintings, porcelain, bronzes, jades, writing implements, and rare books. Qianlong is credited with pacifying the warring territories of western China, fostering innovation in the arts, and commissioning a comprehensive edition of all existing Chinese literature. The 10,000-square-foot Splendors of China's Forbidden City exhibition will feature a series of carefully crafted environments based on actual palace settings. Visitors can view the elaborate gold-lacquered Dragon Throne from which the emperor ruled; the desk where he worked, the table where he dined, and the private chamber of one of the emperor's wives. Objects on view never before seen outside China include the emperor's funeral throne and spirit tablet, a monolithic carved jade boulder, the five-foot high gold stupa commissioned by Qianlong to commemorate his mother, and eight paintings by the great Jesuit court artist Giuseppe Castiglione, including portraits of Qianlong and his first wife and empress, Xiaoxian. The exhibition also explores the private world of Qianlong and will include artifacts reflecting his refined taste, including beautiful jade carvings he commissioned and the essays he wrote about them; a selection of the 10,000 snuff bottles he collected; lacquerware and ceramics demonstrating a variety of innovative techniques, which he encouraged; examples of his own calligraphy work; and some of the more than 44,000 poems he wrote.