Flowers on a River: The Art of Chinese Flower-and-Bird Painting, 1368–1911

Happy New Year! Only two weeks remain for this special exhibition of Chinese flower-and-bird painting at Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA). Showcasing masterpieces spanning 500 years from Tianjin Museum and Changzhou Museum, this exhibition marks the first showing of works traveling from China to the U.S. since the onset of the pandemic. The exhibition premiered at the China Institute Gallery in New York earlier this year, and SBMA is the presentation’s second and final venue in the United States. SBMA offers a reduced presentation to focus on some of the most important works in the original exhibition, featuring 21 individual works and 17 artists.

One of the most important highlights is the premier showing of the 42-foot-long monochromatic handscroll painting, Flowers on a River (1697), by the eminent monk artist Zhu Da (1626–1705). The scroll, painted by Zhu Da at age 72, is a masterpiece of his life journey told through lotus flowers by the water and his final resolve through orchids, bamboo, rocks, and waterfalls in landscape. The Santa Barbara Museum of Art will be the only U.S. venue that enables visitors to view more than 90% of the actual artwork.

This exhibition is through January 14, 2024.

Source: Santa Barbara Museum of Art