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5,000 Years of Chinese Jade at the San Antonio Museum of Art

Bear, Late Western Han to Early Eastern Han dynasty, 1st c. BC - 1st c. AD (image courtesy Arthur M. Sackler Gallery adn Smithsonian Institution)

Bear, Late Western Han to Early Eastern Han dynasty, 1st c. BC - 1st c. AD (image courtesy Arthur M. Sackler Gallery adn Smithsonian Institution)

5,000 Years of Chinese Jade
San Antonio Museum of Art
October 1, 2011 through February 19, 2012

The San Antonio Museum of Art is pleased to announce the forthcoming exhibition 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade Featuring Selections from the National Museum of History, Taiwan and the Arthur M. Sackler Collection, Smithsonian Institution. This major international exhibition organized by SAMA opens in the Museum’s Cowden Gallery on October 1, 2011. The exhibition is held in conjunction with the City of San Antonio’s yearlong celebration of Taiwan.

With its broad historical approach, the exhibition provides an opportunity to experience the great breadth of Chinese history through outstanding works of art. The exhibition and accompanying catalog for 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade is arranged chronologically. Principal subjects represented in the exhibition include ritual objects, weapons, scholar’s objects, adornments and jewelry, vessels, and figural objects.  The jades vary greatly in color, size, date, and function. An Education Gallery located in the exhibition allows visitors to further explore the subject through videos, books, and computer resources.

The primary lender to the exhibition is the National Museum of History, Taiwan. The National Museum of History, Taiwan has generously lent forty-five outstanding jade works of art to the exhibition. Of particular interest are five jades from the Spring and Autumn period (770 – 476 BC) classified as Important National Treasures of Taiwan. Most of the jades from Taiwan, including the National Treasures, will be on view in America for the first time.

Another prestigious lender to 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade is the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery at the Smithsonian Institution. Twenty-four jades from the celebrated Sackler Collection complement the jade objects from Taiwan. Highlights of the Sackler jades include the famous Han dynasty Bear (220 BC – AD 221) and Song dynasty Hound (960-1279). Two additional lenders also provide exquisite jades: the Springfield Museums in Springfield, Massachusetts, lent a number of large 18th-century jades, including a lovely Elephant Vase from the Qianlong period (1735-1796). An anonymous private American collector contributes a dozen superb jades, several of which were carved in Imperial workshops, including an elegant bird carving with Emperor Qianlong’s seal mark. The San Antonio Museum of Art contributes two jades to the exhibition, both acquired within the last two years.

The Museum is grateful for generous financial support of this major exhibition from the Helen and Everett H. Jones Exhibition Endowment, Lenora and Walter F. Brown, the Mays Family Foundation, the City of San Antonio Office of Cultural Affairs, the Texas Commission on the Arts, Rose Marie and John L. Hendry III, the Daniel J. Sullivan Family Charitable Foundation, the Council for Cultural Affairs, Taiwan and the Taipei Cultural Center of TECO in New York. This exhibition is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

Members’ Opening Reception and Tours

Friday, September 30
Members-only afternoon tours at 2, 4, and 6 p.m.. No reservation needed.
Reception from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Reservations required by September 23. Please call (210) 978-8123
or email membership@samuseum.org.

Individual memberships admit one. All other memberships admit two.
Non-member guests may purchase a SAMA membership at the door.

Archer's Thumb Ring, Qing dynasty (1644-1911) (image courtesy the National Museum of History, Taiwan)

Archer's Thumb Ring, Qing dynasty (1644-1911) (image courtesy the National Museum of History, Taiwan)

Schedule of Lectures, Films, and Special Events

Saturday, October 1 through Sunday, February 19
Twitter Q&A on #SAMAjade
John Johnston, Coates-Cowden-Brown Curator of Asian Art and Project Director of 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade, along with Museum educators, will answer questions on Twitter about jade and the making of this exhibition. For the duration of the exhibition you can submit questions with hashtag #SAMAjade.

Saturday, October 1, 5:30 p.m.
Special Dinner Celebrating 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade
$100 per person, space is limited.
An evening honoring donors and lenders to 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade including private exhibition tours and an exclusive dinner.

Sunday, October 2, 3 p.m.
The Louis A. and Frances B. Wagner Lecture Series: The Gentleman is Never Without His Jade: The Culture of Jade in China, Dr. Jenny F. So
SAMA Auditorium, free for members and with Museum admission.
Dr. So is the Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a leading authority on Chinese jade.

Tuesday, October 4, 5:30 p.m.
Lecture: Dragon Motif and Arc-shaped Huang Pendant Sets in the Age of Confucius, Dr. Chan Lai Pik
SAMA Auditorium, free.
Dr. Chan Lai Pik is the 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade catalog co-author and a jade specialist at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Sunday, October 9, 3 p.m.
Lecture: Jade and Chinese Cosmology, Dr. Stephen Little
SAMA Auditorium, free for members and with Museum admission.
Dr. Stephen Little, Curator of Chinese and Korean Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, discusses jade’s role in Chinese art and cosmology.

Zhang Yimou Film Series

Tuesday, November 8, 6:30 p.m.
Hero (PG-13, 2002, 99 minutes)
SAMA Auditorium, free for members, $5 non-members.

Tuesday, November 15, 6:30 p.m.
House of Flying Daggers (PG-13, 2004, 119 minutes)
SAMA Auditorium, free for members, $5 non-members.

Tuesday, November 22, 6:30 p.m.
Curse of the Golden Flower (PG-13, 2004, 114 minutes)
SAMA Auditorium, free for members, $5 non-members.

Sunday, December 4, 1 to 5 p.m.
First Sundays for Families: Jade
Free for members, children 12 and under, or with Museum admission.
Discover 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade through exciting hands-on activities. Participate in a scavenger hunt through the special exhibition, replicate animal carvings out of clay, and observe a jade carving demonstration.

Tuesday, January 24, 6:30 p.m.
Screening in SAMA’s Auditorium: Last Train Home (Directed by Lixin Fan, NR, 2009, 87 minutes)
Free for members, $5 for non-members.

Thursday, January 26, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
SAMA Celebrates the Year of the Dragon
Great Hall
Enjoy jade martinis and Chinese hors d’oeuvres as we celebrate the Year of the Dragon and 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade. Visit samuseum.org for more information.

Tuesday, January 31, 6:30 p.m.
Lecture: Dragons in Chinese Jade, John Johnston, Coates-Cowden-Brown Curator of Asian Art
SAMA Auditorium, free.
Kick off the Year of the Dragon with a talk about dragon imagery and archaism in Chinese jade by the Project Director of 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade.

Bear, Late Western Han to Early Eastern Han dynasty, 1st c. BC - 1st c. AD (image courtesy Arthur M. Sackler Gallery adn Smithsonian Institution)

Bear, Late Western Han to Early Eastern Han dynasty, 1st c. BC - 1st c. AD (image courtesy Arthur M. Sackler Gallery adn Smithsonian Institution)

Archer's Thumb Ring, Qing dynasty (1644-1911) (image courtesy the National Museum of History, Taiwan)

Archer's Thumb Ring, Qing dynasty (1644-1911) (image courtesy the National Museum of History, Taiwan)

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