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UBC Reports | Vol. 47 | No. 12 | August 9, 2001

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.


Last reviewed 22-Sep-2006

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