A Closer Look

Closer Look is open to everyone curious about art! Learning and Community Engagement staff invites participants to look closely at a single artwork in the Norton’s Collection. We discuss the artwork, its potential meanings, and participants’ viewpoints.

VIRTUAL A Closer Look: Wine Ewer (Gong)

Tuesday, February 2 / 1PM-2PM

Tuesday, February 2, 1pm

Wine Ewer (Gong)
Shang dynasty, Anyang Period, circa 1200-1050 BCE

Created during China’s Bronze Age, this vessel was most likely made as part of a set of ritual bronzes for a noble, and buried with the owner for use in the afterlife. The relief ornamentation of the surface reveals a host of creatures, some real others legendary, that may have been integrated into the design to ward off evil. Join Glenn Tomlinson, William Randolph Hearst Curator of Education to examine this remarkable ancient survivor in greater detail and revisit the anonymous artisans and aristocrats of the Shang dynasty who conceived it.


Wine Ewer (Gong), circa 1200-1050 BCE, Shang dynasty, Anyang Period, cast bronze, 7 ¼ x 8 x 4 13/16 in. (18.4 x 20.3 x 12.2 cm.), Gift of R. H. Norton, 52.7a-b

Support for this program was provided by the Maurer Family Fund for Arts Education.