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Chinese Art Treasures

May 28 – August 13, 1961
Ground Floor, Central Gallery, Galleries G-7 through G-15

Installation view of Chinese Art Treasures, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., Gallery Archives

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: An exhibition of 253 objects (231 in catalogue) was chosen from the Chinese National Palace Museum and the Chinese National Central Museum, Taichung, Taiwan, and sponsored by the government of the Republic of China. Included were 66 hanging paintings, 23 handscrolls, 5 albums with 76 paintings, 18 album leaves, 10 calligraphies, 4 textiles, 5 bronzes, 10 jades, 85 porcelains, 11 enamels, 8 lacquers, and 8 woodcarvings. The survey, covering some 3,000 years of Chinese culture and tradition, came from the former imperial collections at Beijing. The special installation, designed by Benjamin W. Lawless and Robert B. Widder, featured large sheets of Plexiglas for 31 of the most fragile hanging scrolls and 5 specially designed and constructed cases lined with silk shantung for horizontal scrolls. 6 cases were borrowed from the Freer Gallery of Art and 17 new cases from the Smithsonian's new Museum of History and Technology. An estimated 700,000 visitors saw the exhibition in 5 cities.

Attendance: 144,358

Catalog: Chinese Art Treasures. Geneva, Switzerland: Editions d'Art Albert Skira, 1961.

Other Venues: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, September 15–November 1, 1961
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, December 1, 1961–January 15, 1962
Art Institute of Chicago, February 15–April 1, 1962
M.H. de Young Memorial Museum, San Francisco, May 1–June 15, 1962