Enamored of Enamel

Sunnylands installs cloisonné exhibition



Pair of Chinese cloisonné enamel figures of red-crowned cranes. Qing Dynasty, Qianlong period (1736-1795).

MARK DAVIDSON/THE ANNENBERG FOUNDATION TRUST AT SUNNYLANDS

Silver-gilt makes way for cloisonné as Sunnylands Center & Gardens opens its second exhibition of exquisite, historical items collected by Walter and Leonore Annenberg.

According to Anne Rowe, director of collections and exhibitions, archival correspondence reveals a collaborative relationship between the Annenbergs and designer William Haines as they decided to pursue cloisonné works from the Chinese Ming and Qing dynasties.

“In particular, the Annenbergs sought works from the Qianlong period (1736-1795) [of the Qing Dynasty],” Rowe says.

Installed primarily in the vast living room of their Sunnylands residence, the collection of more than 30 pieces includes matching tables, almost-5-feet-tall crane-form candle stands, an imperial-quality pagoda with warrior, and a meiping vase (the traditional bulbous-shouldered vase used to display a branch of plum blossoms) festooned with gilded metal swags, and a wall-hung panel depicting scholars in a rural scene.

In a 1983 Connoisseur magazine article, Walter Annenberg explained his appreciation for the latter: “… the vigorous movement of colors, the bold forms remind me so much of van Gogh.”

As Sunnylands staff contemplated which pieces to remove from the residence for display cases in the visitors center for the exhibition, they planned to replace them with other Chinese objects — such as Chinese jades and ceramics — also collected by the Annenbergs.

The exhibition opens Jan. 20. www.sunnylands.org


Cloisonné is the technique of creating designs on metal vessels with enamel surrounded by copper or bronze wire. Though cloisonné has been traced back to ancient Greece, the most highly valued pieces come from China, where it was primarily created to decorate temples and palaces.


 

Edit Module
Art + Culture
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Unstoppable Mickey Gilley Still Has Stories to Share at Stagecoach

Country legend Mickey Gilley is still on the road telling his life story featuring a 17 hit-song career, and the 79-year-old will stop when they put him “in that box.”

ZZ Top's Return to Stagecoach Reinforces Love of Desert, Country Music Roots

ZZ Top guitarist and vocalist Billy F Gibbons may be the leader of one of the most famous and most successful little ol’ rock bands from Texas, but he’s also planted some deep, deep roots in Palm Springs.

Open Call Gives Greater Palm Springs Area Talent a Chance to Shine

Kaitlyn Farley knew music was her calling from a young age, but opportunities like the annual Open Call at the McCallum Theatre took that passion to another level.

alt-J’s Gus Unger-Hamilton Leads a Beautiful Coachella Life

alt-J’s immediate future is playing Coachella for the second time in three years, something the 2012 Mercury Music Prize winners are very much anticipating.

Tycho Set to Ride the Chillwave at Coachella 2015

If you told ambient chillwave artist Tycho that it seems like he’s in a constant dream state with a course permanently set for the outer reaches of the cosmos, he would very much appreciate the sentiment.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions + Contests

2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

GuestLife Magical Monterey Bay Experience

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest

Enter your “Cutest Pet” photo in the Pets on Parade 2015 Photo Contest. Online users will be able to like the Cutest Pet photos from six (6) categories.
Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
Edit ModuleShow Tags