USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Lotus by Hannah Erskine



Royal Taste: The Art of Princely Courts in Fifteenth-Century ChinaHair Pins

February 26, 2016 - June 26, 2016

Explore the luxurious lifestyles and religious practices of princely courts in early- and mid-Ming China (1368-1644) and see more than 140 outstanding works of pictorial, sculptural, and decorative arts. Glimmering jewelry and hairpins, important devotional statues, beautiful textiles and porcelain, and painted masterpieces reveal some of the lesser-known aspects of the palatial lives, religious patronage, and afterlife beliefs of Ming princes, whose world has long been a mystery.

Royal Taste features archaeological finds from three royal tombs—now in museum collections in the Hubei province in China—as well as imperially commissioned statues housed at Daoist temples on Mount Wudang, the birthplace of Tai Chi. Through these significant loans, all of which are traveling to the U.S. for the first time, the exhibition provides a fuller understanding of the visual and religious worlds of Ming princes, and demonstrates the vital role of their sophisticated courts in shaping Ming material culture.

This exhibition is organized by the Hubei Provincial Museum in conjunction with The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art.