Last week Libby and Sarah S., lead Developers on our planned China exhibition, posted a photo of this object and asked what you'd like to know about it.
Jane H., graciously linked this blog to The Field Museum's Facebook, and many people responded. Among their questions...
Terri would like to know: "Where was it found and how old is it?"
Dana says: "I love to learn about animal and plant imagery found in art and what meaning it had in that culture."
Daryl asks: "Can you give us insight to the artisans who created these vases?"
Caitlin requests: " I'm sure you'll cover this... but can you talk about the glaze and the painting, et cetera?"
Mara inquires: "What are all the decorative elements and do they have special significance? Where would this vase have been used, and for what and by whom? What is it made of/how was it made?"
David wants to hear about: other Chinese art in the Ming.
Mary Jane muses: "Why was it made? Functional? Nice to look at? To show off?"
And Melissa wonders: "How heavy is the vase? The handles look very small in proportion to the body--are they meant to be functional or purely decorative?"
By my calculations that's 13.72 questions. And that's just the first batch that Jane has forwarded to me. Right now Libby and Sarah S. are in Beijing, doing background research for the show. But I've passed these on to Sarah C. (also one of the Developers on the China project) and she'll be discussing them with our curators, Gary and Deborah, and posting answers here, soon. We'll also be posting questions and answers up in the Developers Conference Room on the fourth floor of the Museum on Members' Nights, this Thursday and Friday.
Members Night used to be the one night of the year that you could get into The Field Museum at night and go behind the scenes. Eventually, it grew to be so popular that we were starting to break fire code regulations on how many people you can pack into one museum. So we expanded it to two nights, back-to-back. It's for Members only, and by reservation, and FRIDAY IS ALREADY SOLD OUT. But if you want to get in and you're not currently a member, don't fret. I have handily inserted this link to our Membership site so that you can join the Field Museum and sign up immediately for your free Members Night tickets for Thursday night. Act now. Binary operators on our website are standing by.
Sarah C., will also be guest-blogging on this site, since I'm headed out of the Museum on Wednesday night, for a trip to Shanghai and Suzhou.
If possible, I'll try to post some pictures of what we're seeing and doing in China.