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The Precious Collection of the Stone Moat: The Collection

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Location:Hall of Martial Valor (Wuying dian), Palace of Prolonging Happiness (Yanxi gong)

Dates: 2015-09-08 through 2015-11-08

Estimated Dates: 5 September to 4 November 2015
Locations: Calligraphy and Painting Gallery, (Hall of Martial Valor, Wuying dian), Palace of Prolonging Happiness (Yanxi gong)
Calligraphy and painting are important components of Chinese culture. Classic masterpieces have been passed down through the generations by ancient collecting traditions. In particular, from the Six Dynasties to the late Qing dynasty, the continuity of the imperial collections greatly contributed to the coherence of Chinese culture.
  During the Qianlong and Jiaqing periods in the Qing dynasty, the collection of calligraphies and paintings in the imperial palace reached unprecedented heights. Under these circumstances the three editions of the Precious Collection of the Stone Moat (Shiqu Baoji) and the Pearl Forest of the Secret Hall (Midian zhulin) were compiled. The “Stone Moat” (Shiqu) originally referred to the library where the Han dynasty imperial court library. Whereas the Precious Collection of the Stone Moat listed all the non-religious works of calligraphies and paintings, the Pearl Forest of the Secret Hall catalogued all the Buddhist and Daoist calligraphies and paintings in the imperial collections. Focused on different domains, these two catalogues provide precious material for the study of Chinese history, culture, and art.
  Two centuries have passed since the completion of the third edition of the Precious Collection of the Stone Moat. Through time, the calligraphies and paintings recorded in the catalogue have experienced different fates. In the late Qing dynasty and early republican period, a large number of rare works formerly housed in the Forbidden City were taken from the palace. After the establishment of the Palace Museum, and particularly after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, many lost treasures have been reacquired by the Museum through government support and the tireless efforts of dedicated individuals. With proper protection and restoration, these restored treasures are able to reveal their former glory. In the meantime, great accomplishments have been made in the investigation and authentication of works in the Precious Collection of the Stone Moat. Rare works formerly stored in the Qing imperial treasury may now be enjoyed by the general public.
  On the ninetieth anniversary of the establishment of the Palace Museum, this special exhibition showcases works catalogued in the Precious Collection of the Stone Moat. They are grouped into three themes: “Collections of the Court”, “Recovered Treasures”, and “Authentication”. The exhibition releases rare treasures and classics from the Stone Moat and allows them to share their histories and remarkable stories. The exhibition also commemorates those who have contributed to the collection, preservation, restoration, and study of these national treasures.

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