by Curtis C Cutter and Wen Zhong
The groundbreaking ceremony. From left to right: Winston Lord (the US Ambassador), Jill Sackler, Dr Arthur Sackler, Dr Qiau Xiu-Zhong, Dr Ding Shisun (President, Peking University), Curtis Cutter.
Once Dr Sackler had agreed to help in this project, he turned to one of the New York architects most experienced in construction in China, Lo-Yi Chan, of the firm of Prentice & Chan, Ohlhausen, who were recommended by the firm of I M Pei. It was agreed between the Sackler Foundation and the University that Mr Chan would become the supervising architect for the project, working closely with the architects and engineers from the University and with the firm of J Roger Preston & Partners, engineers in Hong Kong.
After a series of meetings, both in China and in New York, a plan for the museum was finally agreed upon which it was felt by all participants would meet the needs of the University and which would serve as a model of modern museum technology for China and the world. In creating this design, Mr Chan and his associates worked closely with Dr Thomas Lawton of the Freer Gallery in Washington DC and members of his staff.
The plan finally adopted incorporates some of the finest attributes of traditional Chinese architecture, but will include all of the modern technology necessary for the preservation, conservation and display of objects of great antiquity. In addition, the plan makes provision for classrooms for students in the faculty of archaeology, computer facilities; a library; storage facilities; and laboratories for conservation work. Most of these facilities will be in a three-storey structure built in the style of other buildings currently on the Peking University campus, but additional galleries and a pavilion will surround a courtyard which will be used for the display of sculpture. The periphery of the building will also be bordered by a sculpture garden to be named for Dr Sackler’s wife, The Jill Sackler Sculpture Garden, in accordance with one of his last wishes.
In conjunction with the construction of the new museum, the Sackler Foundation will also help prepare young Chinese archaeologists and curators by granting scholarships for study in American universities and museums. Once the museum is completed, these young experts will be able to contribute their knowledge to its future development. They will, of course, be working closely with the director of the museum, Professor Su Bai, one of China’s most distinguished archaeologists.
The John Bellany Odyssey - paintings from Italy, China and the Tsunami
John Bellany's paintings are among the most confrontational, humanistic paintings produced in Britain in recent history. Layered with references to the expressionist tradition in art, and to his own dramatic life, recent death and incredible survival, they are allegories of mortality that have no rival today.
Beijing's 'New' Arts Centre: The Capital Museum
Beijing's Capital Museum has emerged from obscurity to become a leading Chinese cultural institution, attracting visitors with its easy accessibility and frequently changing temporary exhibitions. Judging by attendance records, the museum is off to a successful start.
Royal Academicians in China, 2003-2005
'Royal Academicians in China, 2003-2005' was conceived to coincide with the Royal Academy's remarkable exhibition, 'China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795', which presents imperial treasures of the Qing Dynasty. The superb exhibition draws on the collections of the Palace Museum, Beijing, and focuses on the artistic riches of China's last three emperors. It is a spectacular exhibition, and a great credit to the Royal Academy for their organisation of it, and to the team of scholars and curators involved.
China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795
China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795, Royal Academy of Arts,12 November 2005-17 April 2006. Paintings, dress, porcelains, lacquers and furnishings that the rulers themselves employed in elaborate performances.
Xiangshan Campus, China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China
Established in 1928, the China Academy of Art is the first comprehensive art academy in China committed to integrating eastern and western art in its curriculum, while creating contemporary art according to the principles of Chinese culture. The new Xiangshan campus, located in the outskirts of Hangzhou, marks another chapter in the development of the school towards a 21st-century educational model.