Exhibition | Emperors, Scholars, and Temples
Emperors, Scholars, and Temples: Tastemakers of China’s Ming and Qing Dynasties
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, 12 August 2016 — 9 July 2017
During the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties, the arts of China reached full maturity. Painting, calligraphy, porcelain and textiles flourished, and new styles and techniques emerged. The imperial court, scholars, and temples supported this profusion of creativity, each establishing distinctive, yet overlapping artistic styles. Emperors held court in the Forbidden City in Beijing in unparalleled splendor. Courtiers, empresses, and concubines wore extravagant garb and beautiful jewelry. Across the empire, an educated class of scholars pursued elegant and cultured lifestyles. Buddhism was also an inspiration for the arts. Thousands of ornate temples stored precious relics and images of Buddhist deities. Presenting rarely seen objects from the Nelson-Atkins Chinese collection, the exhibition explores currents of taste during this five hundred-year period.