Chinese archaeological discoveries of the last fifty years have transformed previous notions of the origins of Chinese civilization and art. This book presents an astonishing range of findings--more than 200 works of art in jade, stone, ivory, bone, pottery, bronze, lacquer, bamboo, gold, and silver from the period 5000 B.C. to 900 A.D.--that show how culture flowered not only in the Yellow River Valley but throughout ancient China.
The book is 584 pages with 48 B&W + 372 color illustrations and the book size is 9 5/8 x 12 1/8.
Fifty years of scientific archaeology in the People's Republic of China (PRC) have redefined early Chinese culture. This handsome volume surveys some of the most spectacular recent finds and their role in reshaping the history of civilization in ancient China. The National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., teamed up with Kansas City's Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to organize a second extravaganza of unburied treasures, emphasizing discoveries made since their last show in 1974. The more than 175 objects from four historical periods and in numerous media represent important early sites and a diversity of cultures located outside the central Yellow River area--most notably in the south and southwest regions, like the state of Chu. The range is vast, from roughly painted pots about 6,000 years old to lovely clay and marble figures modeling the courtly fashions of 1,000 years ago. The excellent photographs and short texts on individual objects and their excavation sites describe their artistic and historical importance and prompt readers to savor individual artifacts over broad sweeps of history. Linger over a unique pottery basin painted with diagonal lozenges; an over-life-size bronze figure and related heads with strikingly geometrical features; various fantastic creatures in bronze and jade; lacquer bowls and silk garment fragments that have unbelievably survived the centuries; and polychromed Buddhist deities that reveal details like blue mustaches and eyebrows.
The exhibition runs in Washington, D.C., then Houston, Texas, and San Francisco, California, through September 2000. --Alex Lawrence
From Library Journal
This catalog documents a landmark exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Nelson-Arkins Museum of Art, Kansas City; and the People's Republic of China. The exhibition will also travel to Houston and San Francisco. It is a sequel to the show of archaeological finds from China displayed at the National Gallery of Art in 1974. The book's images display with great clarity the most important archaeological discoveries in the People's Republic of China excavated since the late 1970s. Representing achievements over a 6000-year time span (5000 B.C.E. to 1000 C.E.) and a wide geographical range, it features more than 200 artifacts of the highest artistic and historical value--including sculpture, ritual objects, furniture, textiles, and decorative objects. An introductory essay traces the development of Chinese archaeology, pointing out an altered view on formation and development of Chinese civilization. As one of the most significant publications on the subject in the English language during the past few decades, this book truly opens a window on the themes and motifs of the past 60 centuries of Chinese civilization. It is essential for public as well as academic libraries.
-Lucia S. Chen, NYPL
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
- Publisher : National Gallery Washington; 1st edition (October 11, 1999)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 576 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0300081324
- ISBN-13 : 978-0300081329
- Item Weight : 8.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 10.25 x 2 x 12.75 inches