Milwaukee celebrates the Summer of China

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:51 am

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett recently dedicated summer 2011 as “The Summer of China,” here in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Art Museum will open its Summer of China exhibit to the public on Saturday, June 11, though guests at MAM After Dark on Friday will be able to get a sneak peek.
The museum will host a series of five exhibitions included its feature exhibition The Emperor’s Private Paradise: Treasures from the Forbidden City. The exhibition features 90 objects from the historic Qianlong Garden, a 2 acre meditation area designed for China Emperor Qianlong.
“The objects have never been seen outside of the Forbidden City and in-fact have not even been seen my many Chinese people,” said Nancy Berliner, curator of Chinese Art at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass.
Berliner worked closely with the The Palace Museum restoration crew as well as members of the World Monuments Fund to prepare the objects for exhibition.
“We started the process back in 2001,” Berliner said. “Since the objects needed to be removed so the 27 buildings on the property could be restored we came to a decision to share these beautiful pieces with public.”
The objects were first shown at the Peabody Essex Museum, then at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and will now be shown in Milwaukee until September, said Daniel Keegan, director of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
“After these objects leave here they will return to the Bejing, China and will never be seen again outside of the Forbidden City,” Keegan said. “This is truly the public’s only chance to see these objects, short of flying to Bejing.”
According to Berliner, the objects will return to the Qianlong Garden that will not be open to the public until 2019.
The exhibition will coincide with four other China exhibits at the Museum including art from the James Conley Collection; Emerald Mountains: Modern Chinese Ink Paintings from the Chu-tsing Li Collection; On Site: Zhan Wang and Way of the Dragon: The Chinoiserie Style.
“Once we realized The Emperor of China exhibit was in place, we knew we could really make this a great experience for the people of Milwaukee by combining it with other exhibits of Chinese Arts of all types,” Keegan said. “We’ve truly experienced an outpouring of support from Milwaukee community members as well as businesses.”

To see more of the exhibit and interviews with Keegan and Berliner click on the video below.


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