Jenny So: “Scholars, Antiquity, and Jades of 12th-17th Century”

Jenny So
“Scholars, Antiquity, and Jades of 12th-17th Century”
Innovation/Adaptation: 5,000 Years of Making Art in China Series
September 29
List 110

The culture of China's literati and their pursuit of antiquity have been popular subjects of art-historical research.   Often these investigations center on the realms of painting, calligraphy, and ritual bronzes of the Northern Song, and Late Ming and Qing dynasties. This presentation looked at the same phenomena from the perspective of another medium, jade.   Although jade has been a central icon in Chinese culture spanning several millennia, its place in the life of the Chinese literati has been neglected in most studies.  The presentation focused on jade during the period from the Southern Song to the early Qing dynasty (12th to 17th Centuries). Archaeologically excavated examples of securely datable jades from Song and later contexts, as well as important objects in museum collections, shall form the backbone for this exploration into the Song-Ming scholars' impressions of antiquity.

Jenny F. So studied with Max Loehr at Harvard University, and served as Senior Curator of Ancient Chinese Art at the Freer-Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution until 2001, when she took up her current position of Professor of Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. She has focused on the arts of ancient China, with special emphasis on early Chinese bronzes and jades, and cultural exchange between China and beyond. In recent years, she has increasingly turned her attention to the later periods (Tang-Liao-Song) and to understanding why jade is so closely identified with Chinese culture.

Sponsored by the Woods Lectureship, The Margerie Cutler Endowments and The Kenneth List Endowment

Full Poster for Jenny So Lecture