MFA Boston Gets a Game-Changing Gift of Chinese Art Spanning Five Dynasties—See Highlights Here
Fine Art

MFA Boston Gets a Game-Changing Gift of Chinese Art Spanning Five Dynasties—See Highlights Here

Xiang Shengmo Self Portrait (1646). Photo: courtesy of the MFA, Boston. Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts has received a substantial donation of 183 Chinese artworks and artifacts from the art historian and filmmaker Wan-go H.C. Weng. While the museum declined to estimate the value of the donation, a spokeswoman told the New York Times it was “one of the most significant gifts in the museum’s history.” Much of the collection was handed down through six generations, stretching back to 1865, when Weng’s great-great-grandfather Weng Tonghe worked as a tutor at the Qing dynasty imperial court and would occasionally buy paintings with his limited government wages. The gift spans 13 centuries and five dynasties of Chinese Imperial rulers, but is weighted heavily towards later Ming and Qing periods, complementing the MFA’s existing collection, which has strong examples of early Chinese painting, but gaps in later periods. The addition of Weng’s collection elevates the MFA’s collection of Chinese painting to one of the most important outside of China. Speaking to the Boston Globe , the MFA’s curator of Chinese art Nancy Berliner said the contours of the museum’s existing holdings were part of the donor’s calculus. “That was something Wan-go was […]

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