Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums

Jenny F. So

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From personal ornamentation to funerary practice, from palace decoration to private devotion, jade has played a major role in Chinese social, cultural, and political life for millennia. Exploring the history of this revered stone through the esteemed Grenville L. Winthrop Collection at the Harvard Art Museums—which includes some of the finest examples of ancient and archaizing jades outside China—this volume explains how and why jade developed its special significance. In-depth entries on over one hundred objects present recent archaeological discoveries and new information garnered from conservation analysis, while Jenny So’s broad and engaging narrative not only elucidates the layered meanings of the objects and their iconography but also delves into the unique qualities of the material and the craftsmanship involved in quarrying and working jade.

Jenny F. So is professor emerita in the Department of Fine Arts at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and is the former senior curator of ancient Chinese art at the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian Institution.
ISBN: 9780300237023
Publication Date: March 26, 2019
Co-publisher: Distributed for the Harvard Art Museums
360 pages, 8 x 10 1/2
311 color + b/w illus.