Chinese Art Treasures

Exhibit of rare Chinese art treasures headed to Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Rare Chinese art treasures headed to Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Half portraits of Emperor Xuande and Empress Zhang, Ming Dynasty, at Museum of Fine Arts
Half portraits of Emperor Xuande and Empress Zhang, Ming Dynasty. Photo courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Champleve ewer with European figures in landscape, Qing Dynasty at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Champleve ewer with European figures in landscape, Qing Dynasty. Photo courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Portrait of Kublai Khan's consort, Empress Chabi, Yuan Dynasty.jpg
Portrait of Kublai Khan's consort, Empress Chabi, Yuan Dynasty. Photo courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Vase with flying dragon, Ming Dynasty, Museum of Fine Arts
Vase with flying dragon, Ming Dynasty. Photo courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Jia Shigu, Ancient temple in mountain pass, at Museum of Fine Arts
Jia Shigu, Ancient temple in mountain pass. Photo courtesy of Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Half portraits of Emperor Xuande and Empress Zhang, Ming Dynasty, at Museum of Fine Arts
Champleve ewer with European figures in landscape, Qing Dynasty at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Portrait of Kublai Khan's consort, Empress Chabi, Yuan Dynasty.jpg
Vase with flying dragon, Ming Dynasty, Museum of Fine Arts
Jia Shigu, Ancient temple in mountain pass, at Museum of Fine Arts

A major exhibition of 160 items from one of the world's greatest collections of Chinese art is headed to Houston this fall.

More than half of the objects in the unique exhibit, Emperors’ Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei, will be on view in the United States for the first time. The exhibit will be on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston from October 23 through January 22, 2017.

The exhibit, which features a unique selection of  exquisite paintings, calligraphy, bronzes, and decorative arts, illuminates the legacies of eight emperors and one empress who ruled between the early-12th-century Song dynasty and the early-20th-century Qing dynasty, and explores how Chinese art came to evolve and flourish under Han Chinese, Mongol, and Manchu rulers. 

Among the treasures that will be on display: A white pottery vase from the 11th century, a supreme example of the art of the Chinese potter; landscape paintings by court artists of the 12th century; a calligraphy by the Emperor Huizong in his distinctive style; a “chicken cup” produced in the mid-Ming period, for centuries the most sought after of all porcelain wares on account of its superb quality; fine silk tapestries little known outside China; and the Qianlong emperor’s box of small treasures.

Once sheltered in Beijing’s Forbidden City, these masterpieces of Chinese art were moved to Taiwan during prolonged conflict and now reside in the National Palace Museum, Taipei.

The exhibit, co-organized by the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco and the National Palace Museum, Taipei, is currently on display at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco through September 18.