by: Laura Talley
Memphis, TN – October 20, 2021 – Today, the Belz Museum is proud to open to the public a brand-new special exhibit, Functional Beauty: Art Objects of Daily Life in Qing Dynasty China. The Manchu, a people from the northeastern most portion of modern-day China, came to dominate the imperial court of China in 1644 as the Qing Dynasty. The newly founded dynasty did not entirely displace the methods and administration of the former dynasty when the Ming state fell into disarray and rebellion, however. The competent Qing rulers instead chose to adopt the practices and customs of Chinese life they enjoyed and brought harmony to the region.
This harmony led to a surge in prosperity for the imperial dynasty. From 1661 – 1796 the emperors Kangxi, Yongzheng, and Qianlong are noted for overseeing a proliferation of art and art objects in China. The establishment of large artisan workshops saw not only art for the imperial court, but for a growing middle class of people in China as well as thriving export markets in porcelain, textiles, lacquerware, and enameled objects to Europe.
In addition to paintings and fine art objects such as sculpture, Qing workshops produced a variety of artistically significant household and daily use objects. This exhibit contains many objects that were designed for use, but artistically crafted that give us a glimpse into Qing daily life.
The special exhibit is included in admission: $6 for adults, $5 for seniors, and $4 for students.
* Functional Beauty: Art Objects of Daily Life in Qing Dynasty China will be exhibited from October 20, 2021 to February 1, 2022.