Bowers Museum / Houston Museum Of Natural Science Joint Venture: Three Powerful Dynasties, All Within Your Grasp Warriors, Tombs And Temples

August 3, 2011

On the heels of their last joint venture, The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California and The Houston Museum of Natural Science have marshaled a new army for display, Warriors, Tombs, and Temples : China’s Enduring Legacy””opening at the Bowers Museum in celebration of Chinese National Day on Oct. 1, 2011 through March 4, 2012.

(PRWEB) August 02, 2011

In 2009, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, and the Houston Museum of Natural Science, along with other prestigious museums around the world, hosted the highly-acclaimed exhibition, Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor. The special exhibition, declared one of the top 10 museum exhibitions by TIME Magazine, set attendance records during its stint in the U.S. Over 1 million viewed the extraordinary archaeological find, deemed the Eighth Wonder of the Ancient World.

The warrior spirit lives on. On the heels of their last joint venture, The Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California and The Houston Museum of Natural Science have marshaled a new army for display, Warriors, Tombs, and Temples : China’s Enduring Legacy””opening at the Bowers Museum in celebration of Chinese National Day on Oct. 1, 2011 through March 4, 2012. It will make its second and final stop at the Houston Museum of Natural Science April 1, 2012 through September 3, 2012.

“The material in the exhibition is dramatic enough to appeal to anyone of any age group or level of familiarity with Chinese culture. The stories the pieces tell are so vivid that the viewer will leave the show with an increased awareness of China’s great historical traditions and its importance in the world today,” says Suzanne Cahill, Guest Curator of the Bowers Museum.

Making its debut in the United States is a loan of 200 incredibly preserved ancient works of art featuring newly-discovered artifacts unearthed from imperial, royal and elite tombs and from beneath Buddhist monasteries in and around the capital cities of three great dynasties, all located near the modern city of Xi’an in Shaanxi Province. These are Xianyang, the capital city during the Qin dynasty (221 ““ 206 BCE), and Chang’an, the capital city during the Western or Former Han (206 BCE ““ 8 CE) and the Tang (618 ““ 907 CE) dynasties.

The exhibition features four of the famous life-size Terra Cotta Warriors, protectors of China’s First Emperor Qin Shihuang, whose mausoleum complex is considered the eighth wonder of the world. Thanks to new conservation techniques, the paint on the warriors’ garments and armor is now clearly visible and there are unexpected touches””premiering in this exhibition is the strangest of all””a Terra Cotta Warrior– whose face is painted green.

Smaller in scale but equally impressive, are the terra cotta warriors from the imperial tomb complex of a famous Han rebel-turned-emperor Jingdi. Like the Qin army of warriors, they have individualized features and are completely outfitted for battle””only their expressions are peaceful””perhaps, because they are presented in combination with concubines, animals and other necessities’ required for a prosperous and comfortable afterlife.

Warriors, Tombs and Temples: China’s Enduring Legacy dazzles with the riches from the Tang Dynasty, the zenith of trade in exotic goods and dispersal of innovative ideas along the Silk Road. The precious objects include gold dragons, fine ornaments, an exquisite tomb demon and other luxuries. A rare and important painting of a polo game between royals illustrates the adoption of Western influences by the East. Sacred objects including the reliquary that held the historic Buddha’s finger bone from the Famen Temple are displayed for the first time outside of China, illustrating the widespread acceptance of Buddhist beliefs among commoners and elites alike.

When ancient emperors die, see what lives on. Aside from their striking artistic beauty, the objects on display also inform visitors about aspects of daily life and values in the Capital cities of ancient China: how people made a living, worshipped, traded, and buried their dead. Discover the daily and ritual lives of the elites, including the royal families, of each era. Along with what elites wore, rode on, ate from, and took to their tombs, the extraordinary works of art reveal tensions, controversies, and plots at court. Almost all of the material comes from imperial and royal tombs.

Warriors, Tombs and Temples: China’s Enduring Legacy will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue authored by noted Tang Dynasty scholar Suzanne Cahill of the University of California, San Diego, and the guest curator of the exhibition. In addition to the companion publication, a smaller souvenir book can be purchased.

Warriors, Tombs and Temples: China’s Enduring Legacy is a date and time stamped, specially ticketed exhibition. Tickets go on sale August 15, 2011 and can be purchased online at museumtix.com or via phone at Ticketmaster (877.250.8999). All ticket prices include the exhibition audio tour and access to all other museum galleries. Prices are weekdays: $23 adults, $19 students and seniors (62+); weekends: $21 adults, $14 students and seniors (62+). Admission for children under 6 is free. Bowers’ Members can begin reserving their two free tickets immediately. Contact the tour office for group rates. For tickets, or more information, visit http://www.bowers.org or call (714) 567-3695.

The Bowers Museum””Let us help you plan an extraordinary day! Bowers Museum, in Santa Ana, is centrally located in the heart of Southern California. The Bowers Museum has earned an international reputation through its world-class exhibitions. Experience a personalized docent guided tour of any of our exhibits, participate in a lecture, art or writing workshop, or attend a classic film and discussion. Dine at Tangata, our on-site Zagat-rated restaurant and shop for the exotic and rare at the Museum Gallery Store. We also have a children’s museum, Kidseum, located just one block south. Kidseum is dedicated to providing children a fun environment where imagination and creativity are not only encouraged, but nurtured. There is truly something for everyone to discover and enjoy at the Bowers.

The Houston Museum of Natural Science””one of the nation’s most-heavily attended museums””is a centerpiece of the Houston Museum District. With four floors of permanent exhibit halls, including the Wortham IMAX® Theatre, Cockrell Butterfly Center, Burke Baker Planetarium and George Observatory and as host to world-class and ever-changing touring exhibitions, the Houston Museum has something to delight every age group. With such diverse and extraordinary offerings, a trip to the Houston Museum of Natural Science, located at 5555 Hermann Park Drive in the heart of the Museum District, is always an adventure.


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