Friday, May 17, 2013

A Budding Alliance

The ancient history exhibition.

By Cindy DeLong
UNL Graduate Student

One of my favorites from the folk art exhibition.
Last Monday, soon after we arrived, Dr. Crews, Marin, Amanda and I met Professor Li, Vice Director of the Xi'an Jiaotong University Art Museum. He introduced us to some of his graduate students and gave us a tour of the museum.

We finished the tour yesterday. We were all quite impressed. The museum building is new and beautifully done. There is lots of exhibition space and a wide variety of different subjects are on display. 

The upper level of the museum has a large exhibit of calligraphy. Huge displays cover the walls. It is elegant! We toured the permanent exhibit of ancient historic objects including urns, figurines and tools. A very exciting and colorful Chinese Folk Art exhibit is also permanent. It was flat out fun! A new opera exhibit displayed exotic costumes, puppets and head pieces among other objects. Still two other galleries exhibited photographs and ceramics by a well known Chinese artist. 

We were given a tour of museum offices, the conservation laboratory, and the photography studio. Then we were treated to a short demonstration of some of the technology they are planning to use for visual presentations. We wore 3D glasses and saw a short movie clip. The basic idea is to take museum visitors to the archeological dig sites through the magic of technology. Although not developed yet, this is an important project to the Jiaotong University Museum.

Aren't we cute in 3D glasses?!?

See why we were impressed? 

After this wonderful tour, Professor Li invited us to a sitting room for an informal meeting. He suggested that his museum and ours form a partnership for research and exhibitions. The idea of trading exhibitions was tossed around and agreed to in general, although many, many details will have to be worked out as well as funding. Supporting and sharing research and possibly hosting scholars was also agreed to in principal, although the details and funding would have to be worked out for that too. 

Professor Li visited our campus in Nebraska in 2007 and toured the International Quilt Study Center then. Now we have visited his museum. Also, Marin has exchanged emails with Jack, Professor Li's assistant for a long time. We've developed a good relationship for many years and now with our visit to Xi'an, it seems everyone is comfortable with each other and would like to build a more formal relationship. It is an exciting and a wonderful outcome from this long-anticipated visit!

Cindy DeLong is working on a master's degree in textile history with an emphasis in quilt studies at UNL. She has a bachelor of sciences in home economics (clothing and textiles) and journalism from the University of Missouri. She has worked at the New England Quilt Museum as a curatorial intern and the International Quilt Study Center & Museum as a collections intern.

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