Magazine article Sunset

Forty Centuries of Chinese Art Come to S.F

Magazine article Sunset

Forty Centuries of Chinese Art Come to S.F

Article excerpt

Splendors of Imperial China, at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco from October 14 through December 8, is the most definitive statement on four millennia of Chinese art (including jades and bronzes, calligraphy and paintings) yet to reach our shores. It's also a thinly disguised political raspberry aimed at Beijing by Taiwan's leaders, always looking for ways to show up their communist counterparts.

Which is not to say that the people of Taiwan were of one mind about loaning their cultural treasures to the United States. Nationwide protests there caused several nervous U.S. sponsors to withdraw their support, and 23 key works were pulled from the show-some for concern about their safety, others to appease political factions who objected to having Taiwan's greatest artworks leave the island. The squabble has an ironic twist: the treasures wouldn't be in Taiwan in the first place had they not been spirited away from the Mainland by Chinese Nationalists in the late '40s. …

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