National Museum of Scotland
Ming: The Golden Empire
27 June – 19 October 2014
A collection of original artefacts from the Nanjing Museum, including Chinese National Treasures, introduce key aspects of the Ming dynasty, focusing on the remarkable cultural, technological and economic achievements of the period.
Exquisite luxury items and rare objects reveal the wealth and opulence of the Ming imperial court, including the iconic blue and white porcelain with which the period is synonymous, sumptuous silk textiles, gold and jades, and rare examples of elaborately enamelled cloisonné.
A richly coloured painting from the early Ming illustrates the symbolic grandeur and geometrical order of Beijing’s newly-built Forbidden City; whilst artworks by leading painters reveal the preoccupations of Ming society’s cultural elite, from courtesans to dreams of escape from official life.
The Ming was also a period of social transformation, resulting in a thriving consumer culture and a flourishing of visual art. Beautiful furniture, musical instruments, Buddhist artefacts and items of personal adornment bring to life the elegant tastes and concerns of this gilded age. Investigating the prosperous Ming economy and its effects on social order and cultural systems during the 16th and 17th centuries, the exhibition also reflects on the legacy the Ming has left Chinese culture. This will be the only UK showing of this internationally significant exhibition, which has been produced by Nomad Exhibitions in association with Nanjing Museum.
Sponsored by Baille Gifford Investment Managers
Adults £10; concessions £8; children (age 12-15) £6.50; Under 12s free;
National Museums Scotland Members free; National Art Pass holders 50% discount
National Museum of Scotland
1 August – 23 November 2014
Inspired by objects from National Museums Scotland’s World Cultures Collection, acclaimed contemporary Australian artist Danie Mellor presents sculpture and work on paper that explores his own indigenous and European heritage.
The historical and colonial obsessions of Mellor’s work respond to an array of wonders from the worlds of science, technology and nature, suggesting ways of appreciating the complex intertwined narratives of Scotland and Australia.
Mellor’s work echoes the blue and white palette of Spode transferware, a process developed during the same period Australia was established as a colony. Elements of his practice address the tensions between European understandings of Australia and that of Australia’s indigenous population. With works focusing on fauna, Aboriginal life and landscape, and science and exploration, alongside technical references to European art, Mellor’s work is uniquely relevant to the breadth of National Museums Scotland’s collections.
The winner of the 2010 Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing, the 2009 National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Art Awards, and the 2009 Indigenous Ceramics Award, and National Works on Paper Prize in 2008, Mellor has forged a significant place in Australian and international contemporary art. National Museums Scotland and the Edinburgh International Festival are delighted to present this installation in Scotland.
Presented by National Museums Scotland and the Edinburgh International Festival. With the support of Michael Reid, Sydney, Australia.