Chinese Wedding Balls, Opera Carvings at “Provincial Elegance” Exhibit

Wesleyan’s Center for East Asian Studies is hosting an exhibit titled “Provincial Elegance” April 4 through May 27 in the Mansfield Freeman Gallery. The exhibit features Chinese antiques donated in honor of Houghton “Buck” Freeman ‘43 and his wife, Doreen. Patrick Dowdey, curator of the Freeman Gallery, spoke about the individual antiques during the show’s opening April 4.

Taiki Sawabe '12 examines a root carving of birds in a blossoming plum tree.

The wedding ball was used traditionally by girls in south China who would toss it to a group of her suitors on Lunar New Year or the Mid -Autumn Festival: whichever of the boys caught it would be her husband.

Jean Shaw and Patrick Dowdey admire a set of four carvings of figures from traditional opera.

The exhibit features carvings of a pair of martial figures who may have been local deities.

Gallery-goers listen to Dowdey's gallery opening discussion.

Vera Schwarcz, the Mansfield Freeman Professor of East Asian Studies, professor of history, and Shawn Hill, desktop support specialist, browse the exhibition together.

Olivia Drake

Olivia (M.A.L.S. '08) is editor of the Wesleyan Connection newsletter and campus photographer. I have two dogs, five chickens and 30 house plants. I like snow, photographing firemen and enjoying "stinky" cheeses. Send me your story ideas to newsletter@wesleyan.edu. 

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