J. Keith Wilson, curator of ancient Chinese art at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC, will present a free lecture entitled «From Workshop to Grave: Ancient Chinese Jades,» in the Piano Pavilion Auditorium. No reservations are required, and admission is free.
From its origins in the Stone Age, jade working represents the oldest and longest continuous artistic tradition in China. For the first three thousand years—spanning the late Neolithic period and the Bronze Age—jades were symbols of status and power among the social and political elite; some jades also served as magical accessories for rites and rituals. In both capacities, they almost always accompanied their owners to their graves. This lecture addresses the lifespan of early Chinese jade objects—from their fabrication to their burial—focusing on examples in the Sam and Myrna Myers Collection.