Volume 36 – Number 8
This special issue focuses on 'China: The Three Emperors, 1662-1795', an exhibition opening at the Royal Academy fo Arts on 12 November. As a foreign dynasty and China's last, the Manchu Qing have been misunderstood and much maligned through most of the 20th century. In the last decade, research into imperial archives has cast more positive light on the dynasty's achievements; with the opening up of China's museums, material culture has shown that the Qing court at its height was a dazzling spectable that probably eclipsed its European counterpart at Versailles. This exhibition features loans from the Palace Museum in Beijing, many of them on view overseas for the first time. Lead curator Jessiva Rawson introduces the show's highlights. Alfreda Murck provides a poignant counterpoint by exploring how Chinese literati responded to Manchu invastion; while Regina Krahl explores the neglected artistic contributions of the Yongzheng emperor. Interviews with the academy's Exhibitions Secretary Norman Rosenthal and the show's designer Ivor Heal provide insight into how large-scale exhibitions like this are organized.