VOL. 116 | NO. 159 | Friday, August 16, 2002
Unearth clay burial figures at Peabody Place Museum
Clay burial figures come alive at Peabody museum
By SUE PEASE
The Daily News
Chinas Han Dynasty, 206 B.C. to A.D. 220, brought the world
inventions such as paper, porcelain and the first wheelbarrow, and starting
today, visitors to the Peabody Place can see a little bit of the dynastys
Not in treasured and functional inventions, but in clay
Peabody Place Museums newest exhibit, A Legacy Unearthed:
Early Chinese Clay Burial Figures, provides an uncommon glimpse into the past
through the enduring centuries-old images included in this collection, said
Jack Belz, Peabody Place Museum founder.
The exhibit is part of Belz personal art collection, museum
officials said, and will be on display through Oct. 19.
The exhibit consists of 20 rare clay burial sculptures and
tomb furnishings. The oldest has been dated to 206 B.C., officials said.
The clay figurines were buried in tombs, typically
high-ranking officers or those from upper-class society.
They are shaped in forms often reflecting interests of the
deceased, such as polo players, soldiers or dancers, and were considered
figures that would accompany the dead into the afterlife. The models or spirit
gods are called minqui, (pronounced min-key) museum officials said.
All the sculptures are intricately detailed, an interesting
aspect of the artwork, because they were not meant to be seen again after the
initial ceremony, officials said.
The museum, on the concourse level of the Pembroke Square
building, 119 S. Main St., is open from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesdays through
Fridays and noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
Adult admission is $5.
The Memphis Brooks Museum of Art is currently carrying an
exhibit of Han and Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618 to 907) artwork, an exhibit on loan
from the Honolulu Art Academy, said museum director Kaywin Feldman.
People are immensely attracted to it, because of the lively
and dynamic period of Chinese art history. The figures are so interesting from
an historical point of view, Feldman said.
I really credit Jack Belz and the Peabody Place Museum in
their efforts to bring another culture to our city.
The Han Dynasty was important to Chinese art in aspects
other than tomb figures.
The era was one in which painting became very popular,
thanks to the boost from papers invention. Ceramics also became important
during the Han Dynasty, because of the many advances in the field of ceramics
during the era.
The ancient relics of the new exhibit date back to a time
not only of great importance to Chinese art history, but those 400 years included
the time of Julius Caesar, Cleopatra and Jesus Christ.
The Peabody Place Museums permanent collection houses more
than 600 works, primarily 19th century Chinese art, and includes jade
artifacts, ivory carvings; imperial textiles and period furniture. It also
includes collections of Judaica, Russian lacquer boxes, European art glass,
gemstones, minerals and fossils.
A Legacy Unearthed: Early Chinese Clay Burial Figures
Where: The Peabody Place Museum
When: Aug. 16-Oct. 31
Price: $5 adults;
$4.50 seniors; $4 students
Museum hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday
Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
For information: 523-ARTS