May 2, 2012 to Jun 6, 2012
For the ancient Chinese, life in the afterworld was as important as one’s existence on earth. For this reason the dead were laid to rest in tombs intended to replicate earthly palaces in all their splendor. They were also adequately provisioned by surviving family members with mingqi, or "spirit articles," for the deceased’s journey into the afterlife. Fairfield University’s Bellarmine Museum of Art will explore this fascinating subject in its new exhibition, "Immortality of the Spirit: Chinese Art from the Han and Tang Dynasties," which features thirteen pottery funerary objects from the Han (206 BCE - 220 CE) and Tang (618 - 907 CE) Imperial dynasties. A small catalogue, co-authored by Mr. Swergold and Dr. Ive Covaci (Adjunct Professor of Art History at Fairfield University and a specialist in Asian Art), is available in the galleries.Artifacts like those in the Bellarmine Museum of Art’s exhibition provide great insights into daily life during the Han and Tang Dynasties. They also remind us of how carefully orchestrated the burial rites and rituals were for a society with clearly delineated class hierarchies: the poor typically were buried with little more than small coins while the wealthy were accompanied by elaborate figures.This exhibition has been made possible through the generosity of Jane and Leopold Swergold, who have lent both their objects and their expertise to this project. Further support was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities: because democracy demands wisdom.
Bellarmine Museum of Art
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