5 October 2013 – 2 February 2014
In the autumn of 2013, De Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam is mounting a superb exhibition that tells the story of the fascinating Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Thanks to a partnership with the prestigious Nanjing Museum in China, De Nieuwe Kerk will be temporarily hosting an original and exclusive Ming collection. Magnificent luxury items and rare objects from the Imperial Court will be on display. Visitors will also be able to gain an impression of the everyday lives of ‘ordinary’ Ming subjects. In addition, the exhibition will dwell on the dynasty’s great cultural and social accomplishments, and particularly its influence in shaping China’s present-day national identity.
Nanjing Museum China is generously providing on loan paintings, gold, textiles, porcelain, furniture, pottery and calligraphy from the enchanting Ming period. The contract with Nanjing Museum was signed at the beginning of February.
Zhu Yuanzhang proclaimed himself emperor of the new Ming Dynasty in 1368 after ousting the khans of the Yuan Dynasty. Ming (lit. ‘brilliant’) proved to be a long and stable dynasty, which became known for its great cultural and social accomplishments. The exhibition presents a picture of these triumphs, many of which are works of art and cultural products. The period spanned by this dynasty, which laid great store by aesthetics, witnessed major social changes and saw the rise of a flourishing consumer-oriented culture. The fifth Ming emperor, Xuande (reigned 1426-36) is particularly renowned for his active patronage of the arts; it was he who established the dynasty’s reputation in this area. The objects possessed by the emperors reflect immense wealth and luxury. A special planning committee appointed by the Court guaranteed a constant production of high-quality decorative art. A vast range of goods was produced during the Ming Dynasty, which deliberately created a free market economy to stimulate the demand for consumer goods.
Large banners and images will be displayed during the exhibition, to support the collection and to create an atmospheric background. Visitors will be able to use interactive and digital media to learn more about the remarkable culture of the Ming Dynasty.
This travelling exhibition is being organised in partnership with Nomad Exhibitions, Edinburgh.