Chinese Landscapes from American Museums on View in Shanghai

Outside the Shanghai Museum, Photo by Eric MillerA special 60th anniversary exhibition at the Shanghai Museum that opened this month to enormous crowds and much praise includes works from American museums including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and The Cleveland Museum of Art.

The special exhibition, Masterpieces of Early Chinese Painting and Calligraphy in American Collections, is an assemblage of masterpieces showcasing the best Chinese paintings and calligraphies from the 10th to the 14th centuries. More than 8,000 visitors are attending each day.

Attributed to: Li Cheng , Chinese , 919-967 C.E. A Solitary Temple Amid Clearing Peaks, Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) Image: 44 x 22 inches (111.76 x 55.88 cm) Overall (1-1/2" hanging string): 88 x 22 1/2 inches inches (223.52 x 57.15 cm)  Hanging scroll, ink and slight color on silk Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust

Attributed to: Li Cheng , Chinese , 919-967 C.E.
A Solitary Temple Amid Clearing Peaks, Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127)
Image: 44 x 22 inches (111.76 x 55.88 cm) Overall (1-1/2″ hanging string): 88 x 22 1/2 inches inches (223.52 x 57.15 cm)
Hanging scroll, ink and slight color on silk
Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust

The Nelson-Atkins is among the rare museums that can tell the story of Chinese painting during the Song Dynasty, considered one of the world’s greatest artistic revolutions. The Chair of the Nelson-Atkins Board of Trustees, Sarah Rowland, attended the opening of the exhibition with Colin Mackenzie, the museum’s senior curator of Chinese art.

“The importance of this exhibition is unprecedented,” said Mackenzie. “Never before has such a comprehensive exhibition of early Chinese painting masterworks from American museums been exhibited together and never again is it likely to happen. This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to see some of the greatest masterworks of world art.”

Sixty pieces of Song and Yuan calligraphy and painting were borrowed from the American museum collections for the exhibition.

“I believe that this exhibition will have a far-reaching effect on US-China cultural relations,” said Mackenzie. “The fact that four great American museums were willing to lend Chinese masterworks back to China is a tribute to the excellent relations enjoyed between them and the Shanghai Museum. I am also certain that the Chinese visitors hugely appreciate the opportunity they have been given to see these paintings and that they will hope for more cultural exchanges between China and America.”

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Urban Art and Antiques first published in 2007. If you are interested in becoming a contributor, let us know. Email eric (at) urbanartantiques.com

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