Recalling the Past:
A Selection of Early
Chinese Art from the
Victor Shaw Collection

Museum of Anthropology,
Vancouver
December 3, 1997 - August 31, 1998


Recalling the Past, Horse (Western Han period),
painted pottery

The seventy-five pieces in this exhibit were selected by curator Dr. James Caswell from 800 Chinese artifacts in the collection of Mr. Victor Shaw.

Shaw is a major connoisseur of simple but refined and unique antique Chinese objects. His choices represent centuries of artwork by those artisans who transcended the fulfillment of functional and decorative needs and spoke to the genesis of civilization and aesthetics.

Chinese people have collected artifacts of their past for millennia in veneration of their history. Jade collecting in particular is one of the oldest traditions in Chinese history. The mediums in this group include jade as well as ceramics, bronze, lacquer, gold, silver and painted or embossed pottery.

The selection ranges from ornamental and functional objects to those which carried symbolic or ritualistic meaning.

Each piece is of extraordinarily fine calibre. The quality reflects both the original cultural value of each artifact and the discrimination of the people who preserved and protected each one over the centuries.

© Mia Johnson