Rare scrolls from China's Ming and Ch'ing Dynasties that represent the major schools and styles of painting during nearly 900 years of artistic production are on display at the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery (8 th Floor Schermerhorn Hall). The exhibition, "Orchid Pavilion Gathering -- Chinese Painting from the University of Michigan Museum of Art," runs through Saturday, March 20. The selection of hanging and hand scrolls offers a rich survey of the intellectually astute and aesthetically powerful painting in China from the 12th to the 20th centuries.
"The Orchid Pavilion Gathering" features more than 50 art works, which together demonstrate the essential importance of history, literature, philosophy, and religion to the art and aesthetics of traditional Chinese painting.
The title of the exhibition is borrowed from a hand scroll from the Ming Dynasty by the renowned painter Sheng Mao-yeh (1594-1640). It is an artistic rendering of the historic gathering in the year 353 of 41 scholars at the Orchid Pavilion, on the banks of a meandering stream in Shao-hsing. According to legend, the momentous event brought together the most illustrious calligraphers, poets, and scholars of the era. Sheng's painting evokes the majesty of the gathering while giving equal attention to the natural splendor of the landscape. In so doing, Sheng's Orchid Pavilion Gathering exemplifies the larger aim and ambition of Chinese scroll painting: to unite mind with soul, and the viewer with nature.
In conjunction with the exhibition, the Wallach Art Gallery is offering a series of three public lectures: "Unlocking the Heritage of Brush," Marshall Wu, Wednesday, January 28, at 6:15 p.m. ; "Brief Encounters, Pleasures of Happenstance," Jonathan Hay, Thursday, February 5, at 6:15 p.m.
The exhibition is organized and circulated by the University of Michigan Museum of Art. This exhibition and the accompanying publication are made possible by Ford Motor Company. Gallery hours for the exhibition are Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. ; Thursday, 1:00 to 8:00 p.m.