Resources Organized by Country/Region: China



ALL | BCE 4000-1000 | BCE 1000-300 CE | 300-600 CE | 600-1000 CE | 1000-1450 CE
1450-1750 | 1750-1919 | 20th Century | 21st Century | Not Time Specific
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Altered States: Zhang Huan
Asia Society
"Asia Society Museum presents the first-ever museum retrospective of Zhang Huan, one of the most important and widely recognized Chinese artists working in the United States and China. Altered States: Zhang Huan includes 55 of the artist's major works produced over the past 15 years in Beijing, New York, and Shanghai, including photographs and sculpture."

Go to Museum Resource: http://sites.asiasociety.org/arts/zhanghuan/
Ancient China: From the Neolithic Period to the Han Dynasty
Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
"An historical overview of ancient China—from the Neolithic period (approx. 6,000–2000 BCE) to the end of the Han dynasty (220 CE)—this packet explores the rise of ancient Chinese civilization and how belief systems and cultural values are reflected in surviving examples of its material culture. The packet features important archaeological excavations such as the Tomb of Fu Hao, created in the Shang dynasty (approx. 1600–1050 BCE); the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng, created in the Warring States period (approx. 480–221 BCE); and the Terracotta Army of Qin Shi Huangdi, the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE), created approx. 210 BCE. Other highlights include Chinese jades, bronzes, and ceramics in the Asian Art Museum’s collection galleries. The packet includes interactive activities for the classroom and student handouts."

Go to Museum Resource: http://education.asianart.org/sites/asianart.org/files/inline-pdfs/ancient_chin...
Ancient Chinese Bronzes
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Chinese civilization made great advances as it emerged from the Neolithic period and entered the Bronze Age. One factor in this change was the ability to locate and extract natural deposits of copper and tin for making bronze. Foundries capable of heating the ores to high enough temperatures for mixing and casting metal were established in northern areas of China around 1700 BCE. One of the largest and most impressive early foundries was at Anyang, the capital of the late Shang dynasty from about 1300 to 1050 BCE.

Go to Museum Resource: https://archive.asia.si.edu/explore/china/bronzes/default.asp
Ancient Chinese Jades
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Poetically described two thousand years ago in China as the "fairest of stones," jade actually refers to two different minerals, nephrite and jadeite. All of the true jades found at ancient Chinese sites are made of fine-grained nephrite. In its purest state nephrite lacks color; impurities create the variations of yellow, green, brown, and black. See also Jades for Life and Death.

Go to Museum Resource: https://archive.asia.si.edu/explore/china/jades/default.asp
Ancient Chinese Ritual Bronzes
Harvard Art Museums
Excellent short presentation of 8 slides, with commentary, including a diagram of piece-mold casting and an enlarged image of a taotie or mask-like face from a bronze urn. Part of the museum’s “Hotspots” digital images.

Go to Museum Resource: https://www.harvardartmuseums.org/tour/hotspots/stop/241
Ancient Tombs
University of Washington, Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization
"This unit contains summaries of five archaeological sites, ranging in date from about 2300 BC to 100 BC. The tombs selected for examination were all advanced for their time. Their occupants were members of the ruling class of the period, able to afford the highest standard of material comfort, technical excellence, and artistic embellishment then available." A Visual Sourcebook of Chinese Civilization was prepared by University of Washington history professor Patricia Buckley Ebrey. With questions for discussion, timelines, maps, and suggested readings. Select HOME to find link to teachers' guides for all topics featured on the website.

Go to Museum Resource: http://depts.washington.edu/chinaciv/archae/2tommain.htm
Archaeological Footprint: Can we really know about the past from things left behind? [PDF]
The Field Museum
In this lesson plan students will analyze the objects in the Cyrus Tang Hall of China, either onsite at The Field Museum or online and think about how history is learned through objects. They will also theorize about what gaps can exist when stories are told through objects

Go to Museum Resource: https://www.fieldmuseum.org/sites/default/files/archaeological_footprint.pdf
Architectural Models (Eastern Han Dynasty)
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
"Tall pottery towers and other architectural models were popular during the Eastern Han dynasty (A.D. 25-220). These, along with ceramic replicas of houses, human and animal figures, cooking implements, and bronze ceremonial vessels, were created to be placed inside the tomb to accompany the deceased into the afterlife." A short introduction to the models, with five related objects, all with descriptions, and an in-depth interview with an MIA curator.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/explore/explore-collection-architectural-mod...
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