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Cabinet H: 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 red earthenware candlestick holder in the form of a large, androgynous human figure, presumably female, kneeling, with a child. There is a cylindrical holder for a candle on the larger figure's head. The candlestick is covered in a green lead glaze, with iridescence and calcification.
Chinese
Candlestick Holder
25 – 220
earthenware, glaze
Museum purchase made possible by the Mary Kujawski Memorial Fund
1992/2.3
An earthenware model of a stocky horse on short legs, dressed in a saddle blanket and saddle with a roundel on its nose, a short downward pointing tail and trimmed mane, and traces of mineral pigment. 
Chinese
Horse
earthenware with mineral pigment
11 5/8 in x 4 1/8 in x 14 3/16 in (29.53 cm x 10.48 cm x 36.04 cm);13 3/16 in (33.5 cm);15 3/4 in (40.01 cm);5 3/4 in (14.61 cm)
Museum purchase for the Paul Leroy Grigaut Memorial Collection
An earthenware polychrome glazed figure of a horse and rider.  The amber-colored horse has a green mane and black taill and is standing on all fours on a platform.  It has large eyes and a full saddle and reigns.  The male rider is dressed in long green robes with long sleeves, a tall black hat, and the face is painted in mineral pigments. 
Chinese
Horse and Rider
1368 – 1644
earthenware, glaze, mineral pigment
Gift of Jiu-Hwa Lo Upshur
2008/2.274
A miniature stove with arched doorway to a square firebox and stepped rear wall.  There is a round pot on top of a burner, and it is covered in a straw-colored glaze.
Chinese
Stove and Kettle
earthenware with glaze
4 7/16 in x 3 15/16 in x 4 5/16 in (11.27 cm x 10 cm x 10.95 cm)
Gift of the Friends of the Museum of Art and Helen B. Hall

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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 8, 2020 7:42 a.m.

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