(10 May 2018) The Philadelphia Museum of Art has contributed approximately 4,300 additional images of its encyclopedic and exceptional permanent collection to the Artstor Digital Library bringing its total to more than 7,500. The current contribution centers on the museum’s comprehensive Chinese collections.
The museum’s Chinese holdings include several thousand works of art and objects, and the selection in Artstor presents a rich cross-section that highlights varied techniques and materials from prehistory through the 19th century. Skill and refinement are visible in objects as disparate as a prehistoric jade axe head and an elaborately painted and ivory encrusted twelve-panel silk screen, late 18th-early 19th century.
A distinctive and fragile funerary mask, late 10th-early 12th century, finds an equally delicate yet differentiated counterpart in an eggshell-thin blue underglaze bowl, c. 1400-1433, from the famous porcelain works of Jingdezhen. A prancing earthenware Han Horse, c. 25-220, is proudly and perfectly equine while a diminutive cloisonné duck steps and cranes in his mantle of brilliant enameled plumage.
Paintings are as varied as the traditional Qing dynasty Peaches on Lotus Leaf, c. 1644-1911, and the meticulously penned House Boat, made for the export market during the same period.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art houses more than 240,000 objects that represent international cultures from antiquity to present times. The Asian collections include diverse works and reconstructed architectural spaces such as a Japanese teahouse and halls from a Chinese palace and an Indian temple.
The announcement in full is here.