Qing Dynasty, 1644–1911/12, Chinese, Chime: Dragon in Clouds, 1765, Jadeite, 26 7/8 x 29 3/4 x 12 1/4 inches. Gift of Mrs. Fredrick B. Miner, FIA 1968.13

Art of Jade

August 15, 2020 - May 23, 2021

Ann K. Walch-Chan Gallery

Since the Neolithic period, jade has been valued for its rarity as well as its beauty. Art of Jade explores the history of the cultures who work with Jade, as well as the functional, stylistic, and technical developments of jade as an artistic medium throughout time. The artworks in this exhibition were made by artists who patiently ground and drilled the material, a process that could take days, months, and even years to complete. Because of the stone’s beauty, strength, and rarity, jade has become a symbol of social identity, hierarchy, status, wealth, and power in both Chinese and Mesoamerican cultures. This exhibition features 75 objects­— including new acquisitions from Mesoamerican cultures—dating back as early as 1200 BCE, and from China dating from 3200 BCE.

To hear the sound of the jade chimes, click here.

From the Exhibition

  • Maya culture, Central America, Mosaic Mask, ca. 600–900. Jade with shell, obsidian, 3 x 3 1/4 x 1 1/4 inches. Gift of Barry Fitzmorris, FIA 2011.219

  • Olmec Culture, Central America. Mask Pendant, 1100 - 300 BCE. Jade, 3 1/2 x 3 in. (8.9 x 7.6 cm). Gift of Barry Fitzmorris 2011.207

  • Maya Culture, Guatemala. Pair of Ear Spools, 600 - 900. Jade, 2 in. (5.1 cm). Gift of Robert Drapkin 2009.122

  • Chinese. Bi Disk with Imperial Decoration, Western Han Dynasty, 206 BCE - 12 CE. Jade, 11 11/16 x 11 5/8 x 1/2 in. (29.7 x 29.5 x 1.3 cm). Gift of Genevieve and Richard Shaw, by exchange 2010.284

  • Maya Culture, Guatemala. Jaguar Bowl, 600 - 900. Jade, 2 x 5 in. (5.1 x 12.7 cm). Gift of Robert Drapkin 2009.121

  • Chinese, Qing Dynasty, 1644–1911/12. Pair of Cranes, late 19th century. Jadeite, 14 1/4 inches high, each. Gift of Miss Carol C. Pierson, 2005.193.1-.2