Maxwell K. Hearn. Chinese Painting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Formation of a New Canon
The history of art is typically written on the basis of a select sequence of masterpieces that narrate a succession of styles over time and space. In the case of Chinese paintings of the Song (960-1279) and the Yuan dynasty (1271-1368), a selection of masterpieces from the National Palace Museum, Taipei for a travelling exhibition to the US in 1961-62 defined a canon that remains the standard for teaching and studying Chinese painting today. This autumn, in honour of its 60th anniversary, the Shanghai Museum is exhibiting sixty works from the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Metropolitan. Together, this group represents an alternative narrative of this period and sheds light on the process of canon formation.