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Empress’s new clothes star in blockbuster British Museum exhibition

Posted by pysong 
Empress’s new clothes star in blockbuster British Museum exhibition
March 20, 2023 11:17PM
Empress’s new clothes star in blockbuster British Museum exhibition

alavish robe made for an empress will go on show alongside a working man’s humble straw cape in a landmark new exhibition about 19th century China at the British Museum.To get more news about last empress of china, you can visit shine news official website.
About 300 experts from around the world have worked together over four years to put hundreds of objects on show at the museum.

The blockbuster show, which includes around 300 items, was put together during the pandemic which meant some exhibits had to be selected without being seen in person as collectors opened wardrobes and cases and used tablets to show rare items over zoom.
Curator Jessica Harrison-Hall, head of the museum’s China section, said the era in question stretched from 1796 to 1912 and had been dominated by a series of ruinous wars which meant the arts and crafts of the time “haven’t had their moment in the sun”.So this is the era in which cities like Shanghai are built up, it’s a period when you get the new universities and it is really an era when women become less invisible when they are receiving education, being seen in public and starting to take on jobs so there are lots of strands that connect between the 19th century and the modern era.”

Among the highlights is a purple, gold and turquoise robe, right, belonging to Empress Dowager Cixi, the de-facto ruler of China from 1861 to 1908, featuring Chinese and Japanese designs which Ms Harrison-Hall describes as “a truly global object”.

She said: “The Dowager Empress had to change her costume about 10 times a day and had hundreds of these different robes all beautifully stitched in totally different patterns and what I love about is the innovative colour scheme.”

The other end of Chinese society is represented by a waterproof straw cape probably made for a farmer or a fisherman which has been painstakingly restored for the show.

Ms Harrison-Hall said: “It is hundreds of individual pieces of straw. You can’t imagine the patience of our conservators, they are so skilled and quite extraordinary.

“A colleague had to humidify the straw in order to manipulate it onto a mannequin, if it’s too dry it will become brittle but on the other hand they can’t humidify it too much as it could go mouldy and at the same time cleaning every individual piece of straw so we can show it at its absolute best.”
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