Throughout history, jade has had profound cultural implications in different regions of the world. In ancient Mesoamerican cultures, jade was highly prized and often connected to rulers and spirituality. A wide variety of items, including tools, figurines, and jewelry reflected the strong cosmological and symbolic associations the culture had with this luminous, hard stone. Jade has also been an important artistic material in China for over 6,000 years. During this time, it evolved from serving ritual functions to personal usage.
Art of Jade will include objects from China that range from the Neolithic period (8,000–2,000 BCE) to the Qing Dynasty (1644–1912) and from Mesoamerican cultures dating back as early as 1800 BCE. The exhibition will explore the history of these “jade cultures” as well as the functional, stylistic, and technical developments of jade as an artistic medium throughout time.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.