Matthew Welch. The Making of ‘Power and Beauty in China’s Last Dynasty’: A New Approach
The Minneapolis Institute of Art (Mia) is home to one of America’s greatest collections of Chinese Qing dynasty (1644–1911) textiles. The core of the collection—some 342 pieces—was acquired by the museum in 1942 from the San Francisco collector and attorney William Edward Colby (1875–1964). Colby had presciently capitalized on the availability of imperial costumes and furnishings in the antique shops of Chinatown, then flush with these ‘outmoded’ objects, which had come onto the market after the founding of the Republic of China in 1912. The museum has since added to its Qing textile holdings, and they now include more than 600 works.