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Jade Mountain, China, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), 19th century. Jade (nephrite), 12.5 x 4 x 8 ins, Crow Collection of Asian Art, 1987.17. © 2018 Crow Museum of Asian Art & Crow Family Foundation.

DALLAS, TX.- Mountains lie at the heart of Chinese culture and art. A bridge between the human and transcendental realms, they have provided an enduring source of inspiration for poets, scholars, and artists, and continue to remain an important theme within China’s various artistic traditions. The idea of the scholar-official or monk retreating into the mountains into a life of reclusion — whether from physical danger, political turmoil, or the ups and downs of professional service — has a longstanding history in China. Many artists sought solace in representations of nature, at times realistically and in direct likeness, or at times playfully with whimsical and bizarre representations and perspectives. Under their hands, mountain forms were idealized and fantasized. They billow like clouds, flow like water, or rise to great peaks in order to illustrate the infinite power and creative force of nature. Makers of Chinese decorative objects would focus on natural forms in creating objects for the scholar’s studio, where complicated contortions in roots and rocks, mini landscapes on their own, were admired and appreciated.

Drawn from the museum’s outstanding collection of later-period Chinese jade objects, this exhibition will focus on carved jade representations of mountain landscapes and forms from nature. For both sculptor and viewer, landscape imagery illustrates an understanding of the inseparability of oneself from the surrounding world, where the journey through the mountains is symbolic to the path to an immortal realm.

From Fri Sep 28 2018 to Sun Jun 23 2019.

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Jade mountain, China, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), 18th century. Nephrite,14.5 x 17 x 4.5 in., Crow Collection of Asian Art, 1960.36. © 2018 Crow Museum of Asian Art & Crow Family Foundation.

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Miniature Mountain, China, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), Qianlong period (1736-95), 18th century, Nephrite and wood stand, 8 x 15 x 5 in. Crow Museum of Asian Art, 1977.11. © 2018 Crow Museum of Asian Art & Crow Family Foundation

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Inlaid Table Screen, China, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), Qianlong period (1736–95). Nephrite and wood, 18 x 10.75 x 4 in., Crow Collection of Asian Art, 1982.3. © 2018 Crow Museum of Asian Art & Crow Family Foundation

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Ewer, China,Ca. 19th century, Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Nephrite, Crow Collection of Asian Art, 1978.9. © 2018 Crow Museum of Asian Art & Crow Family Foundation.

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Official Hat Stand, China,Ca. 19th century,Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Nephrite with enamel, copper, ruby, carnelian, and gemstone inlay; bronze and wood base with gold and silver inlay,Crow Collection of Asian Art, 1960.11. © 2018 Crow Museum of Asian Art & Crow Family Foundation.

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Stupa Reliquary in the Sino-Tibetan Style, China, Ca. 19th century, Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Nephrite, turquoise, amethyst, glass, ivory, hardstone; enameled and gilt bronze base, Crow Collection of Asian Art, 1986.12. © 2018 Crow Museum of Asian Art & Crow Family Foundation.

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Caparisoned Elephant, China,Ca. 19th century,Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). White nephrite, green jadeite; enameled and gilt bronze base, Crow Collection of Asian Art, 1987.20. © 2018 Crow Museum of Asian Art & Crow Family Foundation

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Brush Washer in the Shape of a Lotus Leaf, China, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), 18th century. Nephrite, pale celadon color, 5 3/4 x 11 1/4 x 5 1/8 in. Crow Collection of Asian Art, 1960.40. © 2018 Crow Museum of Asian Art & Crow Family Foundation

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Ceremonial Harvesting Blade (Dao), China, Late Neolithic, late Longshan culture–early Erlitou. Possibly reworked dark green mottled stone, Crow Collection of Asian Art, 1960.15. © 2018 Crow Museum of Asian Art & Crow Family Foundation

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Phoenix Carrying a Zun, China, Qing dynasty (1644–1911), late 19th – early 20th century. Burmese jadeite, lavender color streaked with apple green, translucent 12 1/4 x 5 x 1/5 in., Crow Collection of Asian Art, 1978.8. © 2018 Crow Museum of Asian Art & Crow Family Foundation.

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Cover for Box to Hold Paan, India, Mughal period (1526–1858), 18th—19th century. Green nephrite inlaid with gold, 5 1/2 x 1 1/4 x 5 1/4 in., Crow Collection of Asian Art, 1977.2. © 2018 Crow Museum of Asian Art & Crow Family Foundation.