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Cabinet F: Shelf 1

Mortuary Art from China

Throughout its long history, Chinese culture has continuously shown a special reverence for the deceased; this is rooted in the belief that the dead are still present and are able to influence life on earth. For many centuries, a tomb was considered a lasting home for the body, to be equipped with the same kinds of material goods that provided pleasure and comfort in life. Because buried artifacts are more likely to survive the passage of time, our most vivid and tangible understanding of ancient Chinese life often comes from objects excavated from tombs.

Ceramics have played a central role in tomb furnishings in many historical periods as storage containers for grain and wine and as ming qi, or “spirit goods.” Manufactured exclusively for tombs, ming qi are the miniature clay models of houses, livestock pens, animals, and humans that so delight us today for their charming recreation of village and city life. Ming qi first came into widespread use in the Han dynasty, partly as substitutes for human and animal sacrifices, but also as a reflection of a new, more practical worldview.

Guardian figures demonstrate another interesting aspect of Chinese mortuary culture. It was believed that after death the soul was freed from the body and could roam around the universe without hindrance; since family members did not like the idea of powerful ancestors, particularly those with unsettled grievances, wandering around freely, guardians were posted at the doorways of tombs to keep spirits from getting either out or in.

A gray earthenware head from a horse sculpture, its strong muscular neck holding its narrow head high. It is vividly sculpted to show the musculature of the horse's face with flaring nostrils and open mouth showing its tongue. It has deep set and bulging eyes, ears pointing forward and a flowing mane. The head is covered with red pigment and with painted white pigment horse trappings. 
Chinese
Horse Head
earthenware with mineral paint
6 in x 1 9/16 in x 6 5/16 in (15.2 cm x 4 cm x 16 cm)
Museum purchase for the James Marshall Plumer Memorial Collection
A gray earthenware head from a horse sculpture; its strong muscular neck holding its narrow head high. It is vividly sculpted to show the musculature of the horse's face with flaring nostrils and an open mouth showing its tongue. It has deep set and bulging eyes, ears pointing forward and a flowing mane. It is covered in red mineral pigment. 
Chinese
Horse Head
earthenware with mineral pigment
6 in x 6 in x 2 3/8 in (15.2 cm x 15.2 cm x 6 cm)
Museum purchase for the James Marshall Plumer Memorial Collection
A gray earthenware cylindrical granary, with bowstring decoration around the body, a domed lid with a circular opening, and three bear-shaped feet.
Chinese
Model of a granary
206 BCE – 25 CE
earthenware
Gift of Diana and Theodore Golden
1996/2.17
A gray earthenware head from a horse sculpture vividly sculpted to show the musculature of the horse's face with flaring nostrils and an open mouth showing its tongue. It has deep set and bulging eyes and loss of ears and neck. The head has traces of red and white mineral pigment. 
Chinese
Horse Head
earthenware with mineral paint
3 1/4 in x 7 5/8 in x 2 13/16 in (8.3 cm x 19.4 cm x 7.2 cm)
Museum purchase for the Paul Leroy Grigaut Memorial Collection
This gray earthenware cylindrical vessel rests on three articulated feet. It is covered with a low, domed cap lid.  Painted on the body and lid is a scrolling cloud motif in red, white, purple, and black mineral pigments.
Chinese
Covered Tripod Vessel
206 BCE – 25 CE
earthenware, mineral paint
Gift of Domino's Pizza, Inc.
1993/1.58.1-2
A gray earthenware head from a horse sculpture. Its muscular neck holds its narrow head high; it is vividly sculpted to show the musculature of the horse's face with flaring nostrils and open mouth showing its tongue within.  There is loss of the ears.  The head has traces of red and white mineral pigment. 
Chinese
Horse head
mineral paint on earthenware
6 1/2 in x 6 1/2 in x 2 1/4 in (16.51 cm x 16.51 cm x 5.72 cm)
The Oliver J. Todd Memorial Collection
Chinese
Covered fang hu (square-shaped wine vessel) with painted cloud scroll designs
01/01/9901 BCE
earthenware with polychrome decoration
Gift of Domino's Pizza, Inc.
1993/1.57.1-2

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Part of 1 Learning Collection

Cabinet A: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet A: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet A: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet B: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet B: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet B: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet C: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet C: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet C: Shelf 3
<p>Inkwells </p>

Cabinet D: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Bohlen Wood Art Collection ...

Cabinet D: Shelf 2
<p>Inkwells </p>

Cabinet D: Shelf 3
<p>Inkwells </p>

Cabinet E: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the James Marshall Plumer Collec...

Cabinet E: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the James Marshall Plumer Collec...

Cabinet E: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the James Marshall Plumer Collec...

Cabinet F: Shelf 1
<p>Mortuary Art from China </p>

Cabinet F: Shelf 2
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet F: Shelf 3
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet G: Shelf 1
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet G: Shelf 2
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet G: Shelf 3 
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet H: Shelf 1
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet H: Shelf 2
<p>Mortuary Art from China </p>

Cabinet H: Shelf 3
<p>Mortuary Art from China</p>

Cabinet I: Shelf 1
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet I: Shelf 2
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet I: Shelf 3
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet J: Shelf 1
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet J: Shelf 2
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet J: Shelf 3
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet K: Shelf 1
<p>Religious Sculpture from India</p>

Cabinet K: Shelf 2
<p>Religious Sculpture from India</p>

Cabinet K: Shelf 3
<p>Art of Islam</p>

Cabinet L: Shelf 1
<p>Blue-and-White Porcelain and Stoneware</p>

Cabinet L: Shelf 2
<p>Blue-and-White Porcelain and Stoneware</p>

Cabinet L: Shelf 3
<p>Blue-and-White Porcelain and Stoneware</p>

Cabinet M: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Dora and William Hunter Coll...

Cabinet M: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Dora and William Hunter Coll...

Cabinet M: Shelf 3
<p>Blue-and-White Porcelain and Stoneware</p>

Cabinet N: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Margaret Watson Parker Colle...

Cabinet N: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Margaret Watson Parker Colle...

Cabinet N: Shelf 3
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet O: Shelf 1
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet O: Shelf 2
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet O: Shelf 3
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet P: Shelf 1
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet P: Shelf 2
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet P: Shelf 3
<p>Celadon Wares in Asia</p>

Cabinet Q: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Ellen and Richard Laing Coll...

Cabinet Q: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Ellen and Richard Laing Coll...

Cabinet Q: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the Ellen and Richard Laing Coll...

Cabinet Q: Shelf 4
<p>American Plaster Casts</p>

Cabinet R: Shelf 1
<p>American Plaster Casts</p>

Cabinet R: Shelf 2
<p>Apostle Spoons and American Silver</p>

Cabinet R: Shelf 3
<p>Modernist Glass and American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet R: Shelf 4
<p>American Plaster Casts</p>

Cabinet S: Shelf 1
<p>American Silver</p>

Cabinet S: Shelf 2
<p>Tiffany Glass</p>

Cabinet S: Shelf 3
<p>American Silver</p>

Cabinet T: Shelf 1
<p>American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet T: Shelf 2
<p>American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet T: Shelf 3
<p>Native American Art</p>

Cabinet U: Shelf 1
<p>American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet U: Shelf 2
<p>American Art Pottery</p>

Cabinet U: Shelf 3
<p>Native American Art</p>

Cabinet V: Shelf 1
<p>The Human Figure in African Art</p>

Cabinet V: Shelf 2
<p>African Miniature Masks</p>

Cabinet V: Shelf 3
<p>African Masks and Masquerades</p>

Cabinet W: Shelf 1
<p>The Head in African Art</p>

Cabinet W: Shelf 2
<p>Selections from the Helmut Stern Collection</p>

Cabinet W: Shelf 3
<p>Selections from the Helmut Stern Collection</p>

Cabinet W: Shelf 4
<p>African Masks and Masquerades</p>

Cabinet X: Shelf 1
<p>Modern Sculpture</p>

Cabinet X: Shelf 2
<p>Modern Sculpture</p>

Cabinet X: Shelf 3
<p>Modern Sculpture</p>

Cabinet X: Shelf 4
<p>Modern Sculpture</p>

Cabinet Y: Shelf 1
<p>Selections from the Fusfeld Art Collection</p>

Cabinet Y: Shelf 2
<p>Contemporary Art</p>

Cabinet Y: Shelf 3
<p>Contemporary Art</p>

Cabinet Y: Shelf 4
<p>Contemporary Art</p>

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Last Updated

June 5, 2020 11:10 a.m.

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