Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Arts of China

Where: Sackler Gallery

When: through September 7, 2014

I rarely get the opportunity to see the permanent collections of the Smithsonian; I'm usually well occupied looking at limited-time shows.  I only see the long-term displays when they're closing.  This week, I discovered that the "Arts of China" area of the Sackler is closing after being on display since 1990.

I don't know why they're taking this exhibit down.  Perhaps it's to put up different Chinese art objects?  I can't imagine they wouldn't display Chinese works.  Maybe it's to open up more space for traveling shows?  Only time will tell; I'm eager to see what will come next.  Of course, that's assuming they're not closing down part of the museum due to budget cuts, something I've noticed in other places.  Oh well, we'll just have to wait and see.

I enjoyed looking at the Chinese objects on display at present.  Some of them are terrifically old, and I do love antiquities.  Looking at jewelry items from thousands of years ago made me realize just how ancient is the need to adorn ourselves with beautiful objects, and to adorn even our most everyday objects with pictures and designs.  It's part of the human condition, and appears in every culture's objects.

I also liked looking at some of the furniture on display, of a far more recent vintage.  I could see how the Arts and Crafts furniture makers were influenced by Asian designs.

Verdict: Have a look at this good stuff before it vanishes!

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