‘Authentic: Truth and Perception in Chinese Art’ opens Aug. 7 in Philly

‘Crystal Ball,’ 19th - early 20th century, artist/maker unknown, Chinese. Rock crystal (quartz), 8 11/16 inches, 31 pounds 8.4 ounces; silver stand, 17 3/8 inches. Gift of Major General and Mrs. William Crozier, 1944. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2021.

‘Crystal Ball,’ 19th – early 20th century, artist/maker unknown, Chinese. Rock crystal (quartz), 8 11/16 inches, 31 pounds 8.4 ounces; silver stand, 17 3/8 inches. Gift of Major General and Mrs. William Crozier, 1944. Image courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2021.

PHILADELPHIA – The exhibition Authentic: Truth and Perception in Chinese Art will open August 7 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It will be displayed in Gallery 325 and will continue through July 3, 2022.


Authentic: Truth and Perception in Chinese Art highlights selections from the Chinese collection to demonstrate that understandings of authenticity are not universal, and notions of copying are viewed differently within the Chinese cultural sphere. Thematic groupings explore various facets of what is considered ‘authentic’ — from copies created in response to particular fashions in the west, to antiquarian-inspired pieces made in imitation of historic works, to prints about the Sino-Japanese war made by both Chinese and Japanese artists that present differing viewpoints on the same conflict. By providing the intention behind the creation of a work of art, and drawing attention to motifs and details, the installation compares our contemporary understandings of authenticity to how they have been viewed in the past.

‘Yen Yen Vase,’ c. 1870s, Qing dynasty (1644-1911). Made in China, artist/maker unknown, Chinese. Porcelain, overglaze enamel decoration (Famille noire), 27 7/8 by 11 inches. The Alfred and Margaret Caspary Memorial Gift, 1955. Image courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2021.

‘Yen Yen Vase,’ c. 1870s, Qing dynasty (1644-1911). Made in China, artist/maker unknown, Chinese. Porcelain, overglaze enamel decoration (Famille noire), 27 7/8 by 11 inches. The Alfred and Margaret Caspary Memorial Gift, 1955. Image courtesy Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2021.

The exhibition is part of a three-year initiative, China and the World, that will explore art-specific themes that are related to universal human qualities — Authenticity, Connectivity, and Diversity. Led by Hiromi Kinoshita, The Hannah L. and J. Welles Henderson Curator of Chinese Art, each installation will be on view for a year, during which there will be K-12 teaching and adult programming designed around every theme.

Visit the website of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.