Reflections of the Cosmic Web: Intricate Patterns in Daoist Art

God of Longevity (Shoulao) in Auspicious Landscape (detail). Chinese; Qing dynasty, 19th century. Polychrome silk and gold-wrapped thread tapestry weave (kesi) with selected painted details, 71 9/16 x 65 13/16 inches. Murray Warner Collection, MWCH43:1


Reflections of the Cosmic Web: Intricate Patterns in Daoist Art

May 19, 2018 to June 17, 2019

JSMA founder Gertrude Bass Warner lived in China for many years, amassing an astonishing collection with special interest in art of the Qing dynasty (1644-1912). She bequeathed enviable riches to the museum, among them some with fine Daoist iconography.  Next to the teachings of Confucius, Daoism is one of the two indigenous philosophical traditions of China that have evolved over more than two thousand years. Followers of Daoism are committed to the study of nature and to the cultivation of a harmonious lifestyle that increases the flow of internal energy (qi) to attain physical health, longevity, and a non-intrusive mental comportment.  Initiate members of the Daoist clergy practice rituals of purification and renewal and celebrate offerings to deities representing cosmic principles.  This exhibition features selected textiles, paintings, prints, ceramics, jades, and other decorative objects from the Warner collection as well as a few contemporary works of art that reflect the rich naturalistic and mystical imagery associated with the concepts of Daoism.  This rotation is co-curated by UO Chinese History Professor Ina Asim and Anne Rose Kitagawa.


Additional Material

Gallery Talk: "Reflections of the Cosmic Web" with Ina Asim