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Asian Art and History

Rediscovering the Empresses of Qing China

Stabile Building

Jan 15, 10:30am
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Stabile Building 10:30am
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Lecture

Rediscovering the Empresses of Qing China


Asian Art and History: Fabulous Wonders of China
Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning


Dr. Daisy Wang, Peabody Essex
Jan Stuart, Freer-Sackler Galleries

Jan Stuart, the Melvin R. Seiden Curator of Chinese Art, and Daisy Yiyou Wang, Curator of Chinese and East Asian art, Peabody Essex Museum are co-curators of the ground-breaking exhibition Empresses of China's Forbidden City: 1644-1912. They will share their new research and insights into the life of empresses of the China's last dynasty, the Qing dynasty, as well as spectacular art made for, by and about these women. Jan Stuart will discuss how women's quarters were likely decorated and Daisy Wang will look at portraits of the empresses and their role in the imperial family and the state.

This exhibition is the first to explore the role of empresses in shaping China’s last dynasty, the Qing dynasty. Nearly 250 spectacular objects from the Palace Museum tell the little-known story of how imperial women influenced court politics, art and religion. Timed to mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of US-China diplomatic relations, Empresses of China's Forbidden City is organized by the Peabody Essex Museum; the Smithsonian's Freer|Sackler, Washington, D.C.; and the Palace Museum, Beijing. Daisy Yiyou Wang, Ph.D. curator of Chinese and East Asian art, Peabody Essex Museum


Admission includes lunch and a discussion with the lecturer immediately following the lecture. This presentation is part of the Asian Art and History lecture series.

Jan Stuart

Jan Stuart


Jan Stuart is the first Melvin R. Seiden Curator of Chinese Art at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian Institution’s museums of Asian art. She assumed this position in 2014, serving as the “Keeper of Asia” (head of department) at the British Museum, where among in addition to senior management duties and curating and supervising exhibitions, she led the project to create a new gallery for the Sir Percival David Collection of Chinese ceramics and also a new gallery for Chinese paintings. Prior to being in London, Stuart was formerly a curator of Chinese art at the Freer|Sackler, where she came after holding a Mellon Fellowship at the Metropolitan Museum and earning degrees from Princeton and Yale universities. Stuart works broadly in the area of Chinese art and with special focus on ceramics, decorative arts, textiles and court paintings from the Song through Qing dynasties. Her Freer|Sackler exhibitions and related publications (some co-authored) include: Challenging the Past: The Paintings of Chang Dai-chien; Joined Colors: Decoration and Meaning in Chinese Porcelain; Worshiping the Ancestors: Chinese Commemorative Portraits; Return of the Buddha: Qingzhou Sculptures; and most recently, Red: Ming Dynasty/Mark Rothko. She just completed new galleries for the permanent collection of the Freer. She has been active in museum acquisitions and outside publications and also serves on editorial boards for ARS Orientalis and Arts of Asia. Current efforts are dedicated to the exhibition and book project, Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644-1912, in collaboration with co-curator and co-editor Daisy Wang and co-organized with Peabody Essex Museum (Salem) and the Palace Museum (Beijing) for 2018-19.  

Daisy Yiyou Wang

Daisy Yiyou Wang


Daisy Yiyou Wang is the curator of Chinese and East Asian art at the Peabody Essex Museum, which houses the nation’s first East Asian art collection. Wang is the co-curator (with Jan Stuart) of the upcoming major exhibition The Last Empresses of China's Forbidden City, 1644-1912 and co-editor of the publication that accompanies the exhibition.

Wang has served as Chinese art specialist at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, where she made curatorial contribution to a number of exhibitions, including Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan. Her publications cover topics ranging from Buddhist art to contemporary art and the history of collecting Chinese and Korean art. She is the co-editor of the first book in Chinese language on the Freer Gallery’s archival collection in 2014. Wang earned her Ph.D. in art history from Ohio University and is a recipient of a Getty Museum Leadership Fellowship and a Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellowship. Her work has been merited with a Smithsonian Scholarly Studies Award and a Smithsonian Valuing World Cultures Award.

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