Culture Beat: Palace Museum glassware exhibited at Guardian Art Center
Published: Dec 24, 2023 10:08 PM
One of the artifacts on display  Photo: Courtesy of Guardian Art Center

One of the artifacts on display Photo: Courtesy of Guardian Art Center

The Palace Museum Collection of Glassware exhibition, jointly organized by the Palace Museum and the Guardian Art Center in Beijing, officially opened to the public at the center on Saturday.    

The exhibition is the first large-scale display outside the Palace Museum of glass artifacts dating from the 17th to the 20th century. 

The exhibition presents a carefully selected collection of more than 120 glass artifacts in three thematic sections: Radiant Elegance, Bursting with Golden Flames, and Flowing Scenery and Condensed Hues. It provides a compre-hensive display of the color, shape, decoration, craftsmanship and the historical use of glass masterpieces in impe-rial life.

The history of glass production in China can be traced back to the Western Zhou Dynasty (1046BC-771BC). With more than 2,300 years of development, it reached its peak during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) when Chinese glass achieved unprecedented bril-liance in terms of color, diversity of shape, and intricate craftsmanship.

In the 35th year of the Kangxi reign (1696), the glass factory of the Qing Imperial Household Department was established. Guided by European missionaries, local craftsmen from Yanshen Town, Guangzhou, and other places participated in the produc-tion. 

The foundation for the exchange of Chinese and Western craftsmanship was laid at the inception of the factory. While adopting advanced European techniques, the factory continued and developed traditional Chinese glass art-istry.

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