On Monday, February 6, 2012, Brown University’s Year Of China, Brown University Library, The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, and List Art Center co-sponsored an early evening Lantern Festival Gallery Walk.
Shana Weinberg, Year of China Coordinator, led gallery-goers on thirty minute tours of three exhibits, all of which displayed unique Chinese collections. The journey began at the John Hay Library with a viewing of Divine Land, Civilization and People: An Exhibition from Chinese Collections, displaying objects from the Library’s East Asian Collection, John Hay Library’s Special Collections, and Curator Li Wang’s personal collection. The exhibit displayed a variety of objects, including folk new year’s paintings, puppet lions, and Peking opera makeup. Wang gave a brief talk accompanied by Chinese Lantern Festival refreshments.
Next participants visited List Art Center’s The Shape of Good Fortune: Welcoming the Year of the Dragon, where materials curated by History of Art & Architecture students from Professor Maggie Bickford’s class were on view.
The evening culminated with two exhibitions at the Haffenreffer: Crafting Origins: Creativity and Continuity in Indigenous Taiwan featuring contemporary crafts by indigenous tribes in Taiwan as well as materials culled by a 1960s linguistic anthropologist; and Taoist Gods from China: Ceremonial Paintings from the Mien including paintings from the Museum’s collection dating to the 17th century depicting the major gods of the Taoist religion.
The Chinese Lantern Festival (Yuanxiao jie 元宵節 or 元宵节, “Yuanxiao Festival”) falls on the fifteenth day of the new year by the lunar calendar—also the day of the first full moon—marking the end of Chinese New Year celebrations.
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