Treasures from an Unknown Reign: Shunzhi Porcelain

Friday, March 21 - Saturday, March 22, 2003

Campbell Hall 153, University of Virginia

January 25 - March 23, 2003

Dr. Qianshen Bai

Sir Michael Butler

Dr. Julia B. Curtis

Dawn Ho Delbanco

Shawn Eichman

Dr. Yibin Ni

Dr. Evelyn Rawski

Rosemary Scott

Symposium Registration Form

About the Exhibition

On Saturday, January 25, 2003, the University of Virginia Art Museum will open the special exhibition Treasures from an Unknown Reign: Shunzhi Porcelain. Organized and circulated by Art Services International, Alexandria, Virginia, the 87 porcelain objects on view were produced during the reign of Shunzhi (1644-61), a child-emperor and the first emperor of the Qing Dynasty of China. Until the 1980s, Shunzhi’s reign had been neglected by scholars and researchers in China and the West because, during his era, exports were reduced and Imperial porcelain was not produced.

Since then, a series of exhibitions and scholarly findings, validated by a Chinese shipwreck containing 23,000 porcelain wares recovered in the South China Sea, has enabled scholars to date porcelains with accuracy to the Shunzhi Emperor’s reign.

The exhibition is generously supported by a grant from the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation. Its presentation at the University of Virginia Art Museum is made possible with the generous support of the Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation. Additional support has been provided by Jane F. and Christian L. Becken, Gunilla and James Godfrey, Olivia and Leslie Grayson, Gail and David Haines, and Felicia Rogan.



About the Symposium

In conjunction with this special exhibition, the Museum will present a symposium to further explore the topic of Shunzhi porcelain. Planned for Friday and Saturday, March 21 and 22, 2003, the program brings international scholars and major collectors of Chinese porcelain together to further our understanding of this unusual period of Chinese art.

The symposium precedes Asia Week in New York. Support for the symposium has been generously provided by the Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation, the Gramercy Park Foundation, and private donors.

Symposium Registration

If you would like to attend the symposium, please fill out the Registration Form (click here to print out form) and mail, with a check or your credit card information, to:

Shunzhi Symposium
University of Virginia Art Museum
P.O. Box 400119
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4119

You may also fax the form (if paying via credit card) to the Museum.

ATTN: Shunzhi Symposium:
FAX: 434-924-6321 (USA)

The cost of the symposium is $100 for Museum members and $125 for non-members, which includes all the lectures on March 21 and 22, the reception on March 21 and a boxed lunch on March 22.

Please note any dietary restrictions or special needs on the registration form.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Jill Hartz at the Museum via telephone (434-243-8854) or email (


Tentative Schedule of Events

Friday, March 21, 3:00p.m.

Opening Keynote Address

Sir Michael Butler
Noted collector and diplomat
"The Discovery of Shunzhi Porcelain"

Dr. Yibin Ni
University Scholars Programme
Assistant Professor of Chinese Art and Culture
National University of Singapore
"Narrative Themes in Shunzhi Porcelain"

Reception and Gallery Viewing

Saturday, March 22 (all day)

Dr. Qianshen Bai
Assistant Professor of Chinese Art at Boston University
"Porcelain Books: Print Culture and Porcelain Production in 17th Century China"

Dr. Julia B. Curtis
Independent scholar from Williamsburg, Virginia
"Porcelains for a New Dynasty: Imperial Symbols and Propaganda for the Shunzhi and Kangxi Emperors"

Dr. Dawn Delbanco
Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art History at Columbia University
"Landscape Imagery on 17th-century Chinese Porcelains"

Shawn Eichman
E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of East Asian Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art
"Immortals of the Wine Cup: Daoist and Buddhist Aspects of 17th Century Chinese Porcelains"

Dr. Evelyn Rawski
University Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh
"Politics in the Shunzhi Era"

Rosemary Scott
Senior Academic Consultant, International Asian Art Departments, Christie’s
"The Evolving Porcelain Palette in the Early Qing Period"

Hotel Reservation Information

Rooms have been reserved in blocks at the following Charlottesville hotels:

Boar’s Head Inn
Route 250 West
Rooms available: 10 single/double
Cost per room: $125 + tax
Deadline for reservation: February 18, 2003

Red Roof Inn
1309 West Main St.
Rooms available: (10 double, 10 king)
Cost per room: $59.99 + tax
Deadline for reservation: February 10, 2003

To make a reservation, please call one of the numbers listed above no later than the deadline listed and identify yourself as being part of the Chinese porcelain symposium.



Sir Michael Butler is a noted collector and diplomat. He is one of the co-curators of the exhibition and has played a major role, through research, lectures and published articles, in bringing the varied wares of the 17th century to public attention.

Dr. Qianshen Bai, Assistant Professor of Chinese Art at Boston University, has published extensively on Chinese history, politics, calligraphy, seal carving, and painting. His book, Fu Shan's World: The Transformation of Chinese Calligraphy in the 17th Century, will be published by Harvard University Asia Center in the spring of 2003.

Shawn Eichman is currently the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of East Asian Art at The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond. In 2002, he received CAA’s Alfred H. Barr, Junior Award for the exhibition catalogue Taoism and the Arts of China.

Dawn Delbanco is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Art History at Columbia University. She teaches Asian and Western art in the Columbia Core Curriculum. Her main research interest is 17th-century Chinese painting.



Dr. Julia B. Curtis is an independent scholar from Williamsburg, Virginia and one of the co-curators for the exhibition. She has published and lectured extensively on 17th and 18th century Chinese ceramics.

Dr. Yibin Ni, Assistant Professor of Chinese art and culture, National University of Singapore, was born in Shanghai and educated in Shanghai and the UK. He has contributed to books and catalogues on Chinese arts and is the English editor of Dictionary of Chinese Ceramics (2002). He is writing a book entitled Romance on Chinese Porcelain.

Dr. Evelyn Rawski is a University Professor of History at the University of Pittsburgh. She has published books on 16th and 18th century Chinese agricultural development, elementary literacy, and the emperors and imperial institutions of the Qing Dynasty.

Rosemary Scott joined Christie’s as Senior Academic Consultant to the international Asian Art departments in 1997. She has curated a wide range of exhibitions and has researched and written numerous books and articles on Chinese ceramics, textiles and early lacquer.