Gallery Talk (in English): Adorning the Inner Court: Jun Ware for the Chinese Palace

Date: 

Thursday, July 20, 2017, 12:30am to 1:00pm

Location: 

Harvard Art Museums, 32 Quincy St

Presented by: Harvard Art Museums
Admission: See website for admission
Museum Hours: Open daily 10am–5pm
Runs: May 20–August 13, 2017, 2017
Gallery talks: (in Mandarin Chinese) July 13 & August 3, 12-1 PM; (in English) July 20, 12:30-1 PM
More information

Yan Yang, curatorial assistant for the collection in the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art, will give today’s gallery talk. Adorning the Inner Court: Jun Ware for the Chinese Palace is on view from May 20 through August 13, 2017.

Free with museums admission. This talk is limited to 15 people and tickets are required. Ten minutes before the talk, tickets will become available at the admissions desk.

Please meet in the Calderwood Courtyard, in front of the digital screens between the shop and the admissions desk. Museums staff will be on hand to collect tickets.

Gallery talks are offered by curators, conservators, fellows, and other museums staff; they focus on aspects of the installation process, exploring both intellectual and more practical considerations. Museums staff will, for example, tease out arguments at play in the galleries, discuss conservation treatments, look closely at specific collections, or draw connections between works of art throughout the museums.

About the exhibition

The Harvard Art Museums hold the largest and finest collection in the West of a rare and strikingly beautiful type of ceramic ware used in the private quarters of the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace in Beijing. " src="/profiles/openscholar/modules/contrib/wysiwyg/plugins/break/images/spacer.gif" title="<--break-->">These numbered Jun wares—so named because each is marked on its base with a single Chinese numeral—have long been admired for their fine potting, distinctive shapes, and radiant purple and blue glazes. Opinions on these vessels’ dates of origin vary widely, and given the scarcity of numbered Jun in most museum collections, a comprehensive study of this unusual ware has never been undertaken outside the imperial collections in China and Taiwan.

Drawn entirely from the museums’ permanent collections, this exhibition introduces the typology, technical characteristics, collecting history, and controversies surrounding numbered Jun ware. It features approximately half of the museums’ 60 numbered Jun, all of which were given to Harvard in 1942 by Boston-area collectors Ernest B. Dane (Harvard College Class of 1892) and his wife Helen Pratt Dane. This exhibition marks the 75th anniversary of the Danes’ extraordinary gift of nearly 300 Chinese ceramics and later jades. It is also the first focused exhibition of their unique collection of palace Jun ware since it came to Harvard.

The exhibition is complemented by an online resource that provides further contextualization of Harvard’s entire numbered Jun collection. The Numbered Jun Ware Special Collection introduces this remarkable ceramic ware and explores its many complexities through descriptive summaries of its typology, technical characteristics, controversies, and collecting history, accompanied by a selection of representative images.

Curated by Melissa A. Moy, the Alan J. Dworsky Associate Curator of Chinese Art at the Harvard Art Museums.

The exhibition and online special collections feature are funded in part by the Gregory and Maria Henderson Fund and by generous support from Terry and William Carey.