March 29, 2006
MEDIA CONTACT: Caroline Witherspoon
or Jocelyn Collado
BISHOP MUSEUM EXHIBIT CELEBRATES
**Priceless artifacts displayed for the first time in U.S. **
HONOLULU – The garments and ornaments of China ’s Qing Dynasty, especially women of the imperial court, occupy a unique and important place in the history of Chinese dress and have exerted considerable influence on contemporary fashion. Bishop Museum will be the setting for a unique exhibit, Celebrating Chinese Women: Qing Dynasty to Modern Hawai’i, featuring the ornate robes of the women of the Imperial Court and accoutrements from The Palace Museum of the prestigious Forbidden City in Beijing . The exhibit opens on Saturday, April 22, 2006 and will be on display through May 21, 2006 in the Castle Memorial Building .
The exhibition will also showcase beautiful textiles from The Chinese Costume Museum of Donghua University in Shanghai . Over 50 priceless artifacts from these two prestigious Chinese Museums are on display for the first time ever in the United States .
The collection from the Palace Museum features formal dress, including: a court robe worn by a Qing empress during late 18 th century, which demonstrates the wearer’s wealth and revered status through its complex, exquisite artistry and sumptuous, brightly-colored design; a green jade seal of Empress Xiaohe, created after her death in 1849 to show praise for her deeds during her reign as empress dowager; and a ruyi scepter from the mid-18 th to early-19 th century made of plated gold with jadeite inlays, an ornament that was supposed to bring good fortune to the women who carried them.
The Chinese Costume Museum features women’s garments from the late 19 th century and 20 th century with influences of Manchu and Han style clothing. A selection of coats, robes, and pants made of damask, velvet, satin, and gauze; waistcoats and jackets with fine embroidery work; and embroidered satin accessories like shoes and pouches.
From modern Hawai’i, beautiful gowns worn by Narcissus Festival Pageant Queens will be on display, a testament to the elegance of Chinese women, a quality that survived from imperial days in China to contemporary Hawai‘i.
In conjunction with the exhibit opening, special cultural lectures and demonstrations will take place on Saturday, April 22, 2006 . At 2:30 p.m. in the Castle Memorial Building , Dr. Mingxin Bao of the Fashion Art Design Institute of Donghua University will present a special lecture on Chinese women’s daily wear during the late Qing Dynasty and early Republic period. Other cultural demonstrations and activities, including the intricate, distinctive visual art of Chinese paper cutting, will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
This exhibit is presented in partnership with the Associated Chinese University Women, celebrating their 75 th anniversary, with major support from the Harry C. and Nee Chang C. Wong Foundation.
A treasured resource of Hawaiian history and heritage Bishop Museum was founded in 1889 by Charles Reed Bishop as a tribute to his wife Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop, the last descendant of the royal Kamehameha dynasty. Located at 1525 Bernice Street , the Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $14.95 for adults; $11.95 for youth 4-12 years, special rates for kama ‘āina , seniors and military; children under 4 years and Bishop Museum Members are free. For information, call 847-3511 or visit www.bishopmuseum.org.
Note: Digital photos of the Palace Museum and Chinese Textile and Costume Museum artifacts are available. Please contact Jocelyn Collado at Becker Communications (533-4165) if you are interested in receiving images.