The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Huntington Library Presents Treasures through Six Generations
Wan-go H.C.Weng, born 1918, Elegant Gathering at the Laixi Residence (detail), 1986–1990.Handscroll, ink and color on paper, 11 7/10 x 36 4/5 inches (1st section), 11 7/10 x 35 3/10 inches (2nd section), 11 7/10 x 36 3/5 inches (3rd section). Wan-go H.C. Weng Collection. © The Huntington.

SAN MARINO, CA.- The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens highlights one of the greatest private collections of Chinese art in the nation with the presentation of “Treasures through Six Generations: Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from the Weng Collection,” on view April 11–July 12, 2009, in the Mary Lou and George Boone Gallery. Based on an exhibition organized in 2007 by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Huntington’s presentation will feature 41 masterworks created over a period of 900 years along with personal objects belonging to the Weng family. The exhibition will be complemented by an array of educational programs and a catalog based on new research published by Huntington Library Press.

Revered in China as well as in the United States, the Weng collection also was presented in “The Preservation of Inheritance: The Weng Collection of Chinese Painting and Calligraphy” at the Beijing World Art Museum (Dec. 10, 2008–Feb. 1, 2009).

Assembled primarily during the 19th century, the Weng collection has survived more than 150 years of dynastic changes and warfare to remain unscathed in the care of one family. Weng Tonghe (1830–1904),who formed the collection, was a preeminent figure in China, a “scholar-official” who held some of the highest positions at the imperial court. His collection of paintings and calligraphy was passed down through six generations, finally coming to his great-great-grandson Wan-go H. C. Weng (b. 1918), currently living in New Hampshire.

“It is a tremendous honor to be presenting one of the most important collections of Chinese art in the world to audiences in Southern California,” said Steven S. Koblik, president of The Huntington. “Wan-go H. C. Weng helped The Huntington create a spirit of authenticity for our Suzhou-style garden, and now the works in his family’s collection and their examples of scholarship, connoisseurship, and preservation will provide a rich cultural context for Liu Fang Yuan, our Garden of Flowing Fragrance”

Wan-go H. C. Weng left China for the United States when Japan attacked Shanghai in 1937, but returned in 1948 to bring the family collection back to the United States for safekeeping, months before the founding of the People’s Republic of China, when the country would be virtually closed off from the world for the next 30 years. A filmmaker, poet, historian, and artist, Weng has committed himself to the preservation and study of his cultural heritage and served as the first adviser to The Huntington’s Chinese garden, Liu Fang Yuan, or Garden of Flowing Fragrance, which opened in February 2008.

“This will be a rare opportunity for experts and enthusiasts to view masterpieces from the Song, Ming, and Qing periods and works that define the meaning of Chinese scholarly taste,” notes June Li, curator of The Huntington’s Chinese garden and of the exhibition. “But ‘Treasures through Six Generations’ will be designed for those with little previous exposure to Chinese cultural traditions, as well. It will tell stories about virtuosity, history, and family that are universally meaningful, and the tale of the Weng family and its art collection is an excellent way to learn basic Confucian values that infuse Chinese culture.”

“Treasures through Six Generations,” comprising works ranging from the 12th to the 21st century, will be organized chronologically and will include two videos with Wan-go H. C. Weng produced by Northern Light Productions for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston—one focusing on the collection and its stewardship and the other explaining how to view a monumental hand scroll, Ten Thousand Li up the Yangzi River (1699) by Wang Hui (1632–1717). An education room with self-directed art-making activities will focus on three elements intrinsic to Chinese painting: brushwork, calligraphy, and seals.

One of the earliest works in “Treasures through Six Generations” is a hand scroll by Liang Kai (13th century),who was especially well-known for his Buddhist and Daoist figure paintings, but who from about 1201 to 1204 served as a painter at the court of the Southern Song. Not many of his works remain, and Frontispiece to a Daoist Scripture (ca. 1201–04) is the only known example of his courtly style. Made with fine ink lines in a technique called baimiao, the painting depicts six narrative scenes of human activities surrounding a centrally seated figure emanating radiance and accompanied by a group of saintly figures. A mysterious title strip mounted on the painting has inspired a scholarly debate that continues today.

The largest work on view will be Ten Thousand Li up the Yangzi River by Wang Hui, in which the artist traces China’s greatest river in about 53 feet of imaginatively layered brushwork. The Yangzi is the longest river in Asia, flowing from the Dangla Mountains in the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau eastward to the East China Sea. It is a major resource for agriculture and a crucial artery for trade. Wang Hui’s meticulous treatment of the Yangzi theme in this scroll makes it one of the imperial painter’s greatest works. Visually summarizing 3,915 miles of river, Wang Hui highlights various cities, settlements, and famous sceneries along the way with descriptive details and delicate brushwork.

Along with these and other great works by classical Chinese artists such as Shen Zhou (1427–1509),Chen Hongshou (1598–1652), and Wang Yuanqi (1642–1715), paintings and calligraphy created by generations of the Weng family, including Weng Tonghe and Wan-go H.C. Weng, will show the continuation of discipline and cultivation of the scholar class, traditionally the leading elite of China.

Calligraphy of the Character Hu (Tiger) (1890), a hanging scroll by Weng Tonghe, is a dramatic single character hu or “tiger,” written in ancient cursive script. Hu was regarded as a powerful talisman against harmful spirits, and Weng Tonghe’s hu is especially compelling because of his prominent status and auspicious timing. He wrote the calligraphy during the first month of 1890, the Year of the Tiger, when he turned 60. At that time, Weng was at the height of his career as teacher and trusted advisor to the Guangxu emperor, who had just taken over executive duties A delicately painted hand scroll by Wan-go H. C. Weng, Elegant Gathering at the Laixi Residence (1986–90), is one of the more recent works in the exhibition.

“Elegant gathering” (yaji), describes a meeting of cultivated individuals who exchange ideas and sentiments through poetry, calligraphy, music, and painting—an event that has been at the center of Chinese literati life for centuries. As recorded in the painting, such an event was held in April 1985 at Laixi Residence, the home of Wan-go and his wife, when six of the most respected historians of Chinese painting and calligraphy met to view the Weng collection. The scholars from China were seeing the famous collection for the first time, elated to know that it had not been lost but remained intact and was well cared for.

To complement “Treasures through Six Generations,” The Huntington will present an array of educational and scholarly programs, including those that highlight Chinese brush painting, music, and culinary arts, as well as curricula for local schools. Two lectures have been scheduled to accompany the exhibition: Peter Sturman, associate professor of Chinese painting and calligraphy at the University of California at Santa Barbara, will speak on Weng Tonghe’s calligraphy on April 14, 2009; and Hao Sheng, curator of Chinese art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, will talk about Weng Tonghe, his family, and collection on June 23, 2009.

The Huntington Library Press will publish Treasures through Six Generations:Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from the Weng Collection in conjunction with the exhibition. Edited by June Li, the lavishly illustrated 102-page catalog based on new research provides an in-depth look at 41 key works in the Weng collection of Chinese painting and calligraphy. The book includes an introduction by June Li and an essay by Hao Sheng.Distributed by University of California Press and available from the Huntington’s Bookstore & More ($24.95).

Today's News

April 11, 2009

The Blessed Angelico - The Dawn of the Renaissance Opens at Palazzo dei Caffarelli

Exhibition To Explore The Power of Paint at The Phillips Collection

Gerry Judah Recreates Scenes of Ruined Settlements at Wolverhampton Art Gallery

The Huntington Library Presents Treasures through Six Generations

In-finitum To Open at The Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

Vegetable City: Luc Schuiten's Vision of a Sustainable Future Opens in Brussels

Sound of Music and Crossroads Opens at Turner Contemporary

School of Visual Arts Presents "Mentors": Works By Emerging Photographes

Solo Exhibition of Luis Gispert at MOCA at Goldman Warehouse

Galerie Max Hetzler Temporary Presents French Painter Yves Oppenheim

Of Other Spaces at Bureau for Open Culture in Columbus

Hood Museum of Art Presents Wearing Weatlth and Styling Identity - Tapis from Lampung, South Sumatra, Indonesia

Liverpool Biennial Appoints New Curator for 'International' Exhibition

John Paul Jones: A Retrospective at Cal State Fullerton Main Art Gallery

Dia Art Foundation Announces Exhibition of Work by Antoni Tapies at Dia Beacon

Scott McFarland: A Cultivated View Opens at Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography

Call For Artists: The 13th Annual No Dead Artists Juried Exhibition

The New York Photo Festival To Open in May

National Endowment for the Arts Announces Recovery Grants to State and Regional Arts Agencies

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- John Surtees' one-owner 1957 BMW 507 to be offered for the first time at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

2.- Antiques looted in Libya by IS sold in Spain, two experts arrested

3.- The world's oldest bridge to be preserved by the British Museum's Iraq Scheme

4.- Exquisite jewels dazzle in historic Cartier exhibition at the National Gallery of Australia

5.- Now showing in US cinemas: "Hitler VS Picasso and The Others" directed by Claudio Poli

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art returns stolen idols to Nepal

7.- Glasgow starts a year of celebration as Charles Rennie Mackintosh exhibition opens

8.- Very rare Qing Dynasty bowl sells for $30.4 million

9.- Gardner Museum publishes "Stolen" book about 13 works in 1990 theft

10.- Royal Ontario Museum announces appointment of Curator, Islamic Art & Culture

Related Stories

Important Judaica and Israeli & international art bring a combined $7.9 million at Sotheby's New York

Tunisia to auction ousted despot's treasures

Andy Warhol's Mao portraits excluded from the Beijing and Shanghai shows next year

China criticises French Qing dynasty seal auction

Christie's announces auction marking the first half century of the popular and luxurious interiors shop Guinevere

Nine new exhibits debut at San Diego International Airport

Rembrandt masterpiece "Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet" back on display at National Museum Cardiff

Amber: 40-million-year-old fossilised tree resin is Baltic gold

Egyptian artist Iman Issa wins the Ist FHN Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona Award

The main chapel of the Basilica of Santa Croce open for visits after five year restoration

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful