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Daisy Yiyou Wang. Empresses of China’s Forbidden City’: New Perspectives on Qing Imperial Women

This article is written in conjunction with the exhibition ‘Empresses of China’s Forbidden
City’, showing at the Peabody Essex Museum followed by the Freer Gallery of Art and
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. Featuring some two hundred artworks from the Palace
Museum, Beijing along with loans from North American museums, the exhibition tells
the little-known stories of how imperial women influenced art, religion and court politics
in the course of the Qing dynasty (1644–1911). The show centers on five key figures:
Empress Xiaozhuang (1613–88), Empress Dowager Chongqing (1693–1777), Empress
Xiaoxian (1712–48), and Empresses Dowager Ci’an (1837–81) and Cixi (1835–1908).

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Nov/Dec 2018
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