Past Exhibitions

Dressed to Rule: 18th Century Court Attire in the Mactaggart Art Collection


October 24 -
December 15, 2007

Wednesdays through Saturdays, 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

Gallery A at the TELUS Centre for Professional Development
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Dressed to Rule
The inaugural exhibition of the Mactaggart Art Collection, Dressed to Rule explores the design and symbolism of 18th century imperial Chinese costume. The exhibition, curated by internationally-recognized scholar John Vollmer, features a selection of court attire dating from the Qing dynasty (1644 - 1911).

Dressing for imperial rule was essential to the power and meaning of government to convey political, ethnic, and cultural messages. One of the major artifacts in the exhibition is the folio illustration from the 1759 edict that established the official court wardrobe.This folio is pivotal to our understanding and appreciation of Qing dynasty costume and its role in communicating both political and cosmic power.

Clothing signaled levels of formality and rank, ensuring order and stability by identifying the status of each member of society. These exquisite costumes promoted distinct national and political messages to help keep a ruling minority in power for nearly three centuries.

A catalogue featuring Dressed to Rule: 18th Century Court Attire in the Mactaggart Art Collection is available for purchase at Gallery A during the exhibition, from the University of Alberta bookstore or online through the University of Alberta Press.

View objects from the collection included in this exhibit.




Brilliant Strokes: Chinese Paintings from the Mactaggart Art Collection


September 18, 2008 -
January 24, 2009

Thursdays:
12pm to 8pm

Fridays and Saturdays:
12pm to 5pm

U of A Museums' Gallery A at the TELUS Centr

Detail of Summer Retreat at Lakeside Village
View Details
Representing the scope and strength of this world-class collection, Brilliant Strokes showcases a selection of exquisite Chinese paintings from the University of Alberta Museums’ Mactaggart Art Collection. Spanning a period of 500 years, from the 15th century Ming dynasty to the 20th century, these works illustrate the diversity of format and function among Chinese paintings, the variety of subject matter, the range of backgrounds and training among painters, and the array of brushstroke styles.

The paintings included in Brilliant Strokes showcase styles used by Chinese artists belonging to learned society, from scholars and high officials, to court painters, professional painters, and courtesans. The styles represented include: spontaneous brushwork expressing individuality and an idealized vision; the orthodox tradition that adhered to stylistic models of the past; and the polished, decorative approach characteristic of professional painters.

More than providing just visual pleasure, these paintings offer a valuable resource for a fuller understanding of each painter’s artistic achievement as well as an insight into Chinese history and culture over the previous five centuries.

See Experience China: Past and Present programming details related to Brilliant Strokes.

View objects from the collection included in this exhibition.

View the Brilliant Strokes interactive exhibit.

Following the close of Brilliant Strokes at the University of Alberta campus in Edmonton in January 2009, the exhibition will travel to the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto for exhibit in the spring and summer of 2009 in the Herman Herzog Levy Gallery. Brilliant Strokes was curated by Dr. Ka Bo Tsang, curator of Chinese painting at the Royal Ontario Museum.




Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632-1717)


September 9, 2008 -
January 4, 2009

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City

Detail of The Kangxi Emperor’s Southern Inspection Tour, Scroll Seven: Wuxi to Suzhou, 1698
View Details
One of the rare and exquisite scrolls from the Mactaggart Art Collection, The Kangxi Emperor’s Southern Inspection Tour, Scroll Seven: Wuxi to Suzhou, 1698, is currently on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City for the exhibition Landscapes Clear and Radiant: The Art of Wang Hui (1632–1717). This exhibition was curated by renowned scroll scholar Maxwell K. Hearn, who will travel to Edmonton in November 2008 to share his expertise on scrolls during our Experience China: Past and Present programming series as part of Brilliant Strokes.




Brilliant Strokes: Chinese Paintings from the Mactaggart Art Collection

 -
Until September 7, 2009

At the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto

Detail of Summer Retreat at Lakeside Village
View Details
If you missed seeing Brilliant Strokes while it was on exhibit at Gallery A in Edmonton from September 2008 to January 2009, take a trip to Toronto this spring/summer to see the exhibition there in the Herman Herzog Levy Gallery. Brilliant Strokes was curated by Dr. Ka Bo Tsang, curator of Chinese painting at the Royal Ontario Museum. Visit the ROM's website for more information.

Representing the scope and strength of this world-class collection, Brilliant Strokes showcases a selection of exquisite Chinese paintings from the University of Alberta Museums’ Mactaggart Art Collection. Spanning a period of 500 years, from the 15th century Ming dynasty to the 20th century, these works illustrate the diversity of format and function among Chinese paintings, the variety of subject matter, the range of backgrounds and training among painters, and the array of brushstroke styles.

The paintings included in Brilliant Strokes showcase styles used by Chinese artists belonging to learned society, from scholars and high officials, to court painters, professional painters, and courtesans. The styles represented include: spontaneous brushwork expressing individuality and an idealized vision; the orthodox tradition that adhered to stylistic models of the past; and the polished, decorative approach characteristic of professional painters.

More than providing just visual pleasure, these paintings offer a valuable resource for a fuller understanding of each painter’s artistic achievement as well as an insight into Chinese history and culture over the previous five centuries.

View objects from the collection included in this exhibition.

View the Brilliant Strokes interactive exhibit.





Emblems of Empire: Selections from the Mactaggart Art Collection


April 29, 2010 -
May 8, 2010

Portrait of a Bannerman
View Details
The University of Alberta Museums is pleased to present Emblems of Empire: Selections from the Mactaggart Art Collection. Featuring art work and artifacts from late Imperial China never before exhibited at the University of Alberta, this exhibition is available through 45 minute pre-booked tours.

View the art and artifacts featured in this exhibition.

The exhibition is inspired by the recent, full-colour catalogue, also called Emblems of Empire: Selections from the Mactaggart Art Collection. This publication was authored by John Vollmer and Jacqueline Simcox and co-published by the University of Alberta Museums and the University of Alberta Press.

Dates and times for tours of Emblems of Empire are as follows:
Thursday, April 29: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm, 6pm
Friday, April 30: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm
Saturday, May 1: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm
Saturday, May 8: 12pm, 2pm, 4pm

To book tours:
Please call the University of Alberta Museums: 780.492.5834.

Parking:
Pay parking is available in the TELUS/Timms Centre parkade on 112 Street off 87 Avenue. Take the LRT or ETS to University Station.

Location:
U of A Museums’ Gallery A
Main Floor, TELUS Centre (87 Avenue and 111 Street)

Admission is free.




The Painter’s Craft


April 5, 2012 -
July 14, 2012

The University of Alberta Museums is pleased to announce the first exhibition in the China’s Imperial Modern series, “The Painter’s Craft.” The exhibition will be on view at Gallery A from April 5 through July 15, 2012.

Click here for a sneak peak of the art and artifacts featured in this exhibition.

Each spring a new exhibition in the series will be on view in Gallery A. The series asks: How does tradition and history influence our understanding of what the “modern” is—in China, and elsewhere? The first exhibition explores the politics and poetics of brush-and-ink painting. The second exhibition will explore fashion (Spring, 2013); the third, architecture and material culture (Spring, 2014); the fourth, intersections of science and art (Spring, 2015).