China for the Record: Celebrating Art by Women

Organized to complement For the Record: Celebrating Art by Women, this installation in the Niblack Gallery features 19th and 20th century works by the women of China including a painting accompanied by an array of textiles. All of these works draw inspiration from longstanding Chinese artistic traditions. In 1946, Tseng Yu-ho (曾幼荷, Betty Ecke, 1923-2017) painted Juniper in the Style of Wen Zhengming while living in Beijing. It is based on one of the most famous paintings of evergreen trees in the history of Chinese painting and is emblematic of scholarly virtue in the during challenging times. In pre-modern China, mastery of needle work was considered a refined and virtuous activity that was used to measure a woman’s worth and improved a young lady’s prospects to marry well. On view are examples of embroidery displaying women’s artistry: shoes for bound feet, a letter case, children’s shoes, and a festive costume.