New Installation: Miao Masters of Silver

The Bowers Museum's new Miao Masters of Silver installation. Quarter of a Thousand Shining Moons The Bowers Museum is reopening its doors to the public this Saturday, September 12 with a brand-new installation in our East West Bank Gallery: Miao Masters of Silver. Due in large part to the generous support of Anne Shih, the Bowers owns perhaps the f...
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A Budai By Any Other Name Would be Just as Compassionate

Hotei Relaxing in a Field, mid to late 20th CenturyMaker Unknown; ChinaPainting on porcelain tile96.52.34Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Herb Hansen Lots of Loves Love is a fairly complex force that can (often insufficiently) be defined as an intense feeling of affection towards family; friends; a significant other; a childhood pet gerbil named Scruffy, rest ...
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Weighing in on Steelyard Scales

Steelyard Scales, 19th to 20th CenturyLaosWood, metal, fiber and tortoiseshell2019.23.71-.80Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih Scales of Justice When most think of scales, they likely summon an image of Lady Justice, perhaps guarding the entrance of a courthouse, with golden scales for balancing the deeds of the good, the evil and the neutrally align...
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Baby Back Cribs: Embroidered Carriers of the Miao

Baby Carrier with Pleated Ties, 20th CenturyMiao culture; Gulong Town, Guizhou Province, China, AsiaCotton and silk; 23 x 30 in.2008.9.71Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih Miao Mom Weightlifting Club We should be thankful to the wonderful moms in our lives every day, but Mother’s Day is the one day a year we have chosen to distill that love into the ...
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Dharma Wheels and High Heels: Shashi Dhoj Tulachan in Dialogue

Guo Pei's Garden of Soul collection backed by Shashi Dhoj Tulachan's paintings. Fashion 101 Recent visitors to the Bowers Museum will have noticed a few new faces—placid as they may be—in the Freedman Galleria, the long hallway travelling between our main desk and the Bowers Museum’s changing gallery spaces. Of course, these seven new, poised ...
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Reflections on Early Chinese Mirrors

Mirror with Animal, Leaf, and Fruit Designs, Tang Dynasty (618-907)Han culture; ChinaBronze and silver; 1/2 x 6 1/8 in.2005.28.1In Memory of Armand J. Labbe The World in Bronze Mirrors today are multi-layered compositions of metal and glass, but historically the only requirement was a reflective surface. In China, a country whose complex manufactur...
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Who Answers the Cries: Guanyin at the Bowers

Guanyin Seated on a Lotus Flower, late Ming Dynasty (1600-1643)Han culture; ChinaWood and pigments; 49 x 16 x 11 in.2005.37.1Gift of Anne and Long Shung Shih Mercy Me Whether or not you recognize the name, if you have been to the Bowers you have seen at least one representation of Guanyin, the adopted Chinese bodhisattva and goddess of mercy. Woode...
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Car Fit for an Empress Dowager

Empress Dowager Cixi's 1901 Duryea SurreyDuryea Motor Wagon Co.; Reading, PAJanuary 1902 advertisement for the Duryea Surrey.Climb InEmpress Dowager Cixi is arguably the most influential figure in late dynastic China. Coming from humble beginnings as a low-ranking concubine for the Emperor, she managed to leverage a legitimate heir to the throne in...
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Bats, Cats, and Qing Hats

Children’s Festival Hats, 19th to 20th CenturyChinaCotton, silk, foil appliqué, wire and metal2001.1.13, .50, .16Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Long Shung and Anne ShihChildren of Many HatsRural China during the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) saw many of the same problems that developing nations still see today. Unfortunately, poor hygiene standards meant that man...
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On Ornamental Wings: Qing Dynasty Wooden Corbels

Corbels with Phoenix and Crane, 19th CenturyQing Dynasty; ChinaWood and pigments; 27 x 14 x 5 in.2001.58.13a,bGift of Kevin BranchDiagram dougong holding up a multi-inclined roof, from the architectural treatise Yingzao Fashi, 1103.To one degree or another, all objects run the gamut between form and function. In architectural terms this polari...
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