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Auspicious Symbols in Qing Dynasty Textiles

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Cultures +6 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Post-Secondary, Adults

How can clothing and textiles reveal what was valued in Qing dynasty (1644-1912 CE) China?  How did Chinese cultural associations with the natural world influence fashion and decor of Qing dynasty nobility?  Closely examine Qing dynasty clothing and home furnishings and decor from Freer|Sackler collections to discover auspicious symbols.  Learn about each symbol's significance in Chinese culture. Then, test your eyes and see if you can locate the symbols in other textile examples by answering guided questions. A glossary and exhibition resources are provided for teacher reference.  This Learning Lab Collection was designed as a resource for the Empresses of China's Forbidden City, 1644-1912 exhibition on view at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery March 30 - June 23, 2019.  


how did The chinese use images from the natural world for symbolic meaning/


Tags:  art; silk; brocade; embroidery; tapestry; velvet; twill; patterns; China; good fortune; clothing; costume; dress; regalia; symbolism; imperial; court; furnishings; nature; plants; animals; flowers; birds 

Manchu man's semiformal court coat (jifu)

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Palace hanging with embroidered dragon and lotus pattern

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Phoenix among rocks and flowers

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Cloth Square with design of the Three Plenties

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Panel with floral and Lingzhi fungus with ruyi patterns

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Silk-velvet kang (dais) cover

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Section of a chair cover with cranes, bats, and clouds

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Manchu Man's Semiformal Court Coat (jifu)

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Brocade, silk. Pheonix & Peony (with details in ink)

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Imperial Noblewoman’s Summer Surcoat

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery