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Learn More About the Ancient Tradition of Collecting Rocks at This Exhibit Focusing on Chinese Art

Discover the captivating art of Ancient China when you check out the latest exhibit at the San Antonio Museum of Art! Don’t miss Elegant Pursuits: The Arts of China’s Educated Elite, 1400-1900 this Saturday, January 18th. The exhibit will be open from 10:00 a.m.

This exhibition celebrates the unveiling of a twelve-foot tall Taihu rock, a gift of the Chinese Sister City, Wuxi, honoring San Antonio's tricentennial anniversary. SAMA is the first museum in the southwest to present a Taihu rock to the public.

The tradition of collecting and appreciating rocks has a long history in China. By the Ming (1368–1644) and Qing (1644–1911) dynasties, large rocks had become an essential element in gardens, whereas smaller ones were selected for interior décor. The literati class—who was educated in Confucian classics, some passing civil service examinations to hold government positions—led the development of an aesthetic appreciation of rocks. They published treatises on rock connoisseurship, painted rocks of fantastic forms, and collected rocks for their private gardens and studios.

By the Ming dynasty, the Jiangnan region—the lower Yangzi River delta near today’s Wuxi, Suzhou, and Shanghai—became a center for quarrying many types of rocks. Moreover, a strong economy and dedicated Confucian belief allowed a class of the educated elite to flourish.

Elegant Pursuits focuses on the arts created by Jiangnan elites during the Ming and Qing dynasties. The exhibition illustrates the taste and artistic creativity inspired by rocks, showcasing twenty-six rare works from the collection of Wuxi Museum. Elegant Pursuits also explores the socio-economic and cultural backgrounds of the literati of late imperial China, giving viewers access to the hidden, but rich philosophical meanings appended to rocks and allowing them to fully enjoy the Taihu rock at SAMA—both through its fantastic shape and the broad range of cultural overtones it carries.

The exhibit will be on display at SAMA until February 23, 2020. Admission prices will vary; however, museum members are free. For more information, please visit www.samuseum.org.

At Chroma Apartments in San Antonio, Texas, our goal is to help you maintain an enjoyable social life that balances out the daily demands of your already overloaded schedule. The first step? We keep you up-to-speed on the latest events happening in and around our apartment community.

Event Time/Date:
Saturday, January 18, 2020—10:00 AM

Event Venue Location:
San Antonio Museum of Art
200 West Jones Avenue
San Antonio, Texas 78215

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