The Last Emperor's Collection: Masterpieces of Painting and Calligraphy From the Liaoning Provincial Museum. Willow Weilan Hai Chang, Renkai Yang, David Ake Sensabaugh.

The Last Emperor's Collection: Masterpieces of Painting and Calligraphy From the Liaoning Provincial Museum

China Institute in America. 8.5 x 11", xxiii, 358 pp., fully illustrated in color, map, notes, bibliography, text in English and Chinese, paper, New York, 2008. Item #31
ISBN: 9780977405435


Painting and calligraphy, China’s most revered art forms, were collected by its emperors from at least the fifth century AD. These two art forms have been a treasured part of the imperial collection throughout Chinese history and a particular passion of several emperors in different time periods. In the early twentieth century, China’s last emperor, Pu Yi, sold off and dispersed countless palace treasures.

Since 1949, however, the Liaoning Provincial Museum has successfully reassembled a large part of that collection, ranging from the earliest masterworks of painting and calligraphy created in the Eastern Jin dynasty (317–420) to works from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). The Museum’s holdings in this area, formed mainly from the imperial collection, have made it one of the top-ranked museums in China after the Palace Museum in Beijing.

This project provides an extraordinary opportunity to bring these world-renowned treasures to the United States for the first time in a single exhibition, offering a rare chance to introduce the famed collection of the Liaoning Provincial Museum to the American public.

This exhibition includes 23 works of Ming (1368 – 1644) and Qing dynasty (1644 – 1911) calligraphy and painting, all from the former imperial collection. Using these select masterpieces as a focus, this exhibition introduces an understudied topic in Chinese art: the history of imperial collecting. The exhibition looks at the impact of imperial collecting on the contemporary art world and society, specifically looking at those emperors who were noted as passionate collectors. In addition, the exhibition gives insight into the imperial collection management system and illustrates critical standards used in the appreciation and recording of the works at that time.

Price: $59.00