Tang art has incomparable vigor, realism and dignity; it is the art of a people thoroughly at home in a world they knew to be secure. Optimism, energy and a frank acceptance of reality inform their painting, architecture and decorative arts. Within the Tang Dynasty there was an unusual hundred year (665 to 766) “golden era” where poetry, painting and architecture flourished. It was overseen by the only empress regnant in Chinese history, We Zhao and her son, the Emperor Xuanzong. This is a story of exceptional men and women and equally exceptional art.
Scripps is fortunate to have a large teaching collection of artworks from Asia, including over 2500 Japanese prints, more than 150 Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese paintings, an extensive Asian textile collection, an East Asian cloisonné collection, and more than 100 Chinese bronze mirrors. These works are regularly shown in classes and used in student curated exhibitions on campus. An exhibition in September-October 2019 at the Ruth Chandler Williamson Gallery will highlight some of the best examples, including 7th-8th century Tang Dynasty mirrors, 14th-16th century Chinese paintings, and 19th-20th c. Japanese cloisonné. For the AAC Lecture Series at SDMA Professor Bruce Coats will be surveying and commenting on the selections.