She/Her/Hers - image header

She/Her/Hers: Women in the Arts of China

March 1, 2022–March 24, 2024

 

The first exhibition at the Harn Museum of Art since 2007 to showcase both the breadth and depth of the museum’s Chinese art collection, She/Her/Hers: Women in the Arts of China explores the intersecting roles women have played as pictorial subjects, artists, and consumers of art in premodern, modern, and contemporary China. Over the course of two years, this exhibition will bring together more than 50 works representing painting, calligraphy, embroidery, photography, ceramic, bronze, jade, lacquer and silver wares, spanning the 7th century to the present. Many of the works have rarely or never been shown before.

Arranged in four thematic groups, the works of art explore the ideological and religious discourses defining female identities in Chinese society and inspect the male-inflected idealization of female images during the 18th and 19th centuries. In addition, the works highlight women’s artistic achievements in painting, calligraphy, and embroidery and examine women’s changing status and art practices in modern and contemporary China. 

This exhibition aims to expand and complicate the narratives about women’s engagement with art in China. Furthermore, it creates a platform to continue and deepen our conversation about women and the arts through recognizing the roles of different cultures and periods in shaping women’s contributions to art. 

This exhibition is made possible by the generosity of the Quinn Family Charitable Foundation.

Image credits
Left: Unknown Chinese artists, Embroidered Theatrical Hanging 刺繡戲劇人物掛毯, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), c. 1890–1911, Museum purchase, funds provided by the David A. Cofrin Acquisition Endowment
Right: Unknown Chinese artists, Cinnabar Lacquer Box with a Design of Birthday Celebration 剔紅五子祝壽圖漆盒, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), 18th century, Cinnabar lacquer on wood base, Museum purchase, funds provided by the Robert H. and Kathleen M. Axline Acquisition Endowment