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Exhibition of 5,000 Years of Chinese Jade on view at the San Antonio Museum of Art
Bear. Late Western Han dynasty to Early Eastern Han dynasty, 1st century BC-1st century AD. Nephrite, H 1 15/16 x W 3 3/4 x D 1 15/16 inches (4.9 x 9.6 x 4.9 cm). Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.: Gift of Arthur M. Sackler, S1987.25

SAN ANTONIO, TX.- The San Antonio Museum of Art presents the 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 opened 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.

San Antonio Museum of Art | Chinese Jade |

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