UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 12 | August
Priceless Chinese art finds permanent home at MOA
Treasures span close to 7,000 years of Chinese history
by Michelle Cook staff writer
The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) is now home to a world-class collection
of Chinese antiquities thanks to the generous donation of prominent
collector Victor Shaw.
A delicate jade bird carved from a single piece of stone, a writhing
dragon pendant and ancient funeral jars fired in brilliant jewel-coloured
glazes are just a few of the artifacts in the 388-piece Shaw Collection.
The gift contains jade, gold, bronze and ceramic pieces dating from
the Neolithic Age and spanning almost 7,000 years of Chinese history.
"The hundreds of treasures that Mr. Shaw has assembled are a valuable
teaching and research resource that will attract China scholars
from around the world," says UBC President Martha Piper. "As the
museum undertakes its expansion and renovation, the collection represents
our commitment to building a prominence in the study of Asian arts
and culture. It will also form a firm foundation for the university's
planned Research Centre for Asian Art."
UBC's new acquisition is considered unequaled in North America
for both artistic and cultural reasons. The pieces -- human and
animal figurines, jewelry, household objects, and burial vessels
-- were central to many historical and pre-historical periods of
China, making them a dynamic resource for deepening the understanding
of Chinese civilization.
Shaw, originally from Hong Kong, is a lifelong collector of Chinese
art who now resides in Vancouver with his family.
He had considered donating his collection to museums in the US
and Britain before choosing UBC to house his priceless and unique
collection of artifacts.
A portion of the Shaw Collection is currently on display at MOA.
The 75-piece exhibit, entitled "A Connoisseur's Collection: Chinese
Ceramics from the Victor Shaw Donation," runs through Dec. 31.
Museum hours in the summer are daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and to
9 p.m. on Tuesdays. Admission is free Tuesdays from 5 to 9 p.m.