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On the Silk Road and High Seas at the Crow Collection of Asian Art

Tomb figure of a woman playing polo. Tang dynasty (618–906).

Tomb figure of a woman playing polo. Tang dynasty (618–906).

On the Silk Road and High Seas: Chinese Ceramics, Culture and Commerce
Crow Collection of Asian Art
September 1, 2012 through January 27, 2013

On the Silk Road and High Seas: Chinese Ceramics, Culture and Commerce at the Crow Collection of Asian Art is composed of 73 extraordinary works art that illustrate the influence of trade along the infamous Silk Road, a complex network of routes linking East Asia with Central Asia, South Asia and Europe.

On display in chronological order, visitors enjoy an artistic journey that spans over 2,000 years of history.  A gorgeous earthenware tomb figure from the Tang dynasty (618-906) depicts a female polo player dressed in men’s riding clothes. The position of the figure’s arm sets the flow of action, indicating that the woman is leaning over to strike a ball with the polo mallet as her horse is forever suspended in a flying gallop. This figure shows that some Chinese women of the time period were fortunate to experience freedom and some equality alongside men.  In the subsequent Song Dynasty, there was a return to Confucian values and Chinese women were once again segregated from male society.

Dragon jar and cover. Song¬–Yuan dynasty, 13th century, Longquan kilns.

Dragon jar and cover. Song¬–Yuan dynasty, 13th century, Longquan kilns.

During the Northern Song period (960-1126) many ceramic pillows were produced and, due to their durability, have lasted longer than other types of pillows made during that time period.  A note to their practicality, porcelain pillows offered refreshing coolness during hot weather. The design on this headrest is of boys frolicking amongst peonies, indicating that it may have been utilized by a son of high status.

This exhibition illustrates the many artistic influences on art and culture by trade along the Silk Road. A stunning porcelain bottle with cobalt blue and white kraak decoration was probably made for Portuguese export during the Ming dynasty, early 17th century.  A fashionable porcelain peacock blue fish vase, from the Qing dynasty, Jiaqing regin (1796-1820) was recorded to have been sold to Madame de Pompadour, mistress of Louis XV.

Do not forego an up close and personal viewing of this superb collection of Chinese ceramics, winding through two levels of the Crow Collection.  On the Silk Road and the High Seas: Chinese Ceramics, Culture and Commerce explores why Chinese ceramics were prized commodities, both at home and abroad.

I am really looking forward to learning more about the history of these works during a special a visit from, Laurie Barnes Curator of Chinese Art from the Norton Museum of Art, who organized the exhibition and will speak at a member’s reception.

Unlike previous stops on this traveling exhibition’s journey, admission during regular hours is free! For more information, visit


Click on any of the thumbnail images to view larger version. This is only a small selection of images from the exhibit. Nothing compares to seeing art in person.

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About Tanya Miller

Tanya is an art enthusiastic who relocated to Dallas after living abroad in Europe and Australia. She enjoys collecting art from her travels and interacting with the artists even more. Managing and curating the student art gallery, along with advanced studies and exhibition of her black & white 35mm photography, provided the much needed balance to her technical undergraduate studies. A Southern California girl at heart, Tanya enjoys an eclectic mix of artistic styles and is thrilled with the diversity of talent in the Dallas Fort-Worth Arts scene, where she is a docent with The Crow Collection of Asian Art. Interact with Tanya on Twitter at

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