Beauty and Power: Chinese Art from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Collection

Jiang Hu
Qing dynasty (1644-1911)
Bamboo (detail)
Pair of hanging scrolls, ink on paper
57-3/8" x 12-1/4"
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Howard L. Boorman

(June 21 – September 22, 2007)

As one of the world’s oldest and largest civilizations, China has developed a distinctive range of uniquely Chinese forms of art. Many types of objects produced by Chinese artists over the past five millennia are now easily recognizable to western viewers, yet certain media and artifacts remain little known or mysterious to those who are not specialists studying Chinese history and culture.

Using works from the Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Collection, this exhibition will present an overview of some of China’s most important artistic contributions. Through generous gifts from private donors over the past 35 years, the permanent collection now includes 400 examples of calligraphy, painting, bronze, ceramic, jade, and sculpture that range in date from the Neolithic period (6000–2000 B.C.) through the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). Highlights in this exhibition will include bronze vessels and implements, jade carvings, Buddhist images, painted lacquer, ceramic wares, funerary objects, tomb figurines, scholarly paintings, and ancestral portraits.