When the news broke that Milwaukee is one of only three North American cities to host the The Emperor's Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City exhibit about the emperor Qianlong who ruled China from 1736 to 1796, I thought wasn't there an exhibit on him in Chicago several years ago? After jogging my memory, I remembered seeing the Splendors of China's Forbidden City: The Glorious Reign of Emperor Qianlong exhibit at the Field Museum in 2004.
While both exhibits focused on Qianlong, each is unique. The Milwaukee Art Museum's (MAM) The Emperor's Private Paradise exhibit showcases 90 artifacts from Qianlong Garden and Forbidden City in Beijing. Chicago's Field Museum Splendors of China's Forbidden City exhibit displayed almost 400 objects from Beijing's Palace Museum. A few of the most striking artworks are paintings that combine Chinese and Western art perspectives and techniques, the latter brought by Qianlong's Jesuit court missionaries.
Whether you recently saw or plan to visit MAM's exhibit, borrow both coffee table exhibit catalogs. You'll enjoy their rich illustrations and informative text.
Check catalog for The Emperor's Private Paradise availability.
Check catalog for Splendors of China's Forbidden City availability.
Submitted by Van Lingle Mungo