China, Eastern Zhou dynasty, late Spring and Autumn period or early Warring States Period, 6th—5th century BCE
Bronze with gold foil
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery RLS1997.48.4508
China, mid- or late Liao dynasty, 11th—early 12th century
Earthenware with green lead glaze
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery RLS1997.48.185
The Paul Singer Collection
Curatorial staff members J. Keith Wilson, Louise A. Cort, and Jan Stuart, along with researcher Christine Tan, are engaged in an extensive research project on the Paul Singer collection. This project informed the 2013 exhibition of the Singer collection at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery that will introduced Paul Singer as a Chinese art collector, scholar, and detective.
Singer, who died in 1997, bequeathed his collection of some 5,000 works of Chinese art to the Sackler Gallery. He was a collector with diverse and creative interests. For example, he strove to acquire an example of every material that the Chinese used to make artworks. He was fascinated by miniatures. He managed to form an "archaeological" collection at a time when little information on the progress of Chinese archaeology reached the rest of the world.
With its distinctive scope, the Singer collection is a major research resource. Made available to countless scholars since the 1950s, the collection continues to contribute to scholarly training and public understanding of ancient Chinese art and culture. It both supplements the museum's existing holdings and expands opportunities for the study and exhibition of China's cultural heritage.
As the Sackler's first major presentation of objects from the Singer collection, the 2013 exhibition foregrounded Singer's idiosyncratic, even eccentric approach to shaping his collection. It showcased the way his scholarship and his bold and sometimes intuitive selections of little-understood Chinese objects shed new light on Chinese art and archaeology. Ongoing research will augment what is known about the objects in the Singer collection and form the basis for future exhibitions.
Staff at the Freer and Sackler work closely with colleagues all around the world. Learn more about ongoing research collaborations.
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Learn more about current, future and past exhibitions at the Freer and Sackler, and explore interactive features based on past exhibitions. More info »