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  • Dangerous Liaisons Revisited

    Art and Music Inspired by the Chinese Tang Court
     

    January 20 - April 22, 2018

    The prosperous Tang Dynasty (618-906) is known as the golden age of Chinese art and culture, especially during the reign of the great music patron Ming Huang in the 700s. Music distinctly shaped behavior and social roles at court, from ritual music intended to cultivate morals and virtues for harmonious rule to the vernacular music of entertainment that came to represent the sensuality and decadence of Tang court life.

    This exhibition revolves around the Museum's exquisite handscroll from the 1300s, Ming Huang and Yang Guifei Listening to Music, which depicts Ming Huang and his famous consort, Yang Guifei, as they listen to an elaborate court orchestra. The forbidden love between the emperor and the legendary beauty, which eventually became implicated in the decline of the Tang dynasty, has inspired numerous poets, writers, and playwrights as well as artists in China (and later in Japan) from the 800s to the present day. Drawing on rarely seen paintings and prints from the Museum's Asian Art collection as well as key loans, including musical instruments, this exhibition will explore the conflict between duty and desire as well as its gendered nature in Chinese art as articulated through music at court and the archetypal story of Ming Huang and Yang Guifei.

    Press Release

    Related Programs

    Thursday, March 15, 2018, 6pm Master Series Third Thursday: A Reinterpretation of Ancient Music at the Chinese Tang Court. Enjoy a cello concert with College of the Holy Cross visiting musician-in-residence, Jan Muller-Szeraws. This performance will be introduced by Shirish Korde, composer and professor, College of the Holy Cross. Hosted by the Worcester Art Museum's Members' Council and free with Museum admission.

    Presented with support from the Bernard and Louise Palitz Fund.

    Master Series is sponsored by:

    Abbvie logo

    Exhibition support is provided by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Don and Mary Melville Contemporary Art Fund and the John M. Nelson Fund.

    Sponsored in part by:

    Reliant Medical Group