As an aside, I have noticed that acknowledgements to individual collectors and their donations have gradually appeared in exhibitions in recent years, but this is still not widespread. Most recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art dedicated some of its rotating exhibitions from its permanent Chinese and Japanese collection to past donors (2015 & 2016). The Cincinnati Art Museum dedicated a Japanese art exhibition to one specific donor (2014). Some exhibitions in a similar fashion have also taken placed at the National Palace Museum, Taipei (2008) and at the National Museum of Korea (2014). It is time for art museums to reflect clearly their collecting histories and further acknowledge their long-term art donors and patrons, and for academicians to be reminded that these art collections inspired much of the established scholarship in the field. In addition, these art collections concretize extensive learning, and sometimes reveal gaps in academic disciplines. Without these early art collectors, scholars, connoisseurs, and philanthropists, both individual museums and the field of Chinese art history itself would not have reached their current positions. Consequently, these types of exhibitions and publications should be continued, encouraged and supported. Diana Y. Chou The San Diego Museum of Art E-mail:
Frontiers of History in China – Brill
Published: Oct 28, 2016
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