In Pursuit of Elegance and Simplicity: Chinese Scholars’ Studio Furniture from the Tseng Collection

Exhibition open from Sat Mar 21 2009 to Sun Aug 16 2009

Crafted with impressive carpentry skills, the furniture in this exhibition represents artistic elements flavored by the literati class from the 16th to the 18th century. The furniture is assembled to re-create a household interior of the pre-modern era, where men of highly cultivated backgrounds could read books, practice calligraphy, polish their painting skills, compose poems, and chat with their peers. Mostly made during the golden age of Chinese furniture, these hardwood pieces are composed with a purity of line and emphasis on utilitarian function. This exhibition provides a rare glimpse into how furniture, like other luxury items, can convey social meanings and the status of the owner.