Saturday, November 14, 2009

Tombs of Mawandui Exhibit

We are so fortunate to have a first class Art Museum in Santa Barbara and a curator who specializes in Asian art and culture.  The Noble Tombs of Mawangdui  Exhibit runs until December 13th, 2009 and is the second and last venue of the exhibit in the USA.  The tombs were discovered during the Cultural Revolution and were the final resting place of the prime minister of the Changsha Kingdom of the Western Han Dynasty, his wife, Lady Dai, and their son.  They lived about  two thousand years ago in the province of Hunan, shortly after the unification of China and their grave goods reveal that much of what we think of as essential to Chinese culture was already in place by the time they died.  Lady Dai's tomb was filled with fine lacquer ware, silk garments, food, paintings and books for an afterlife of pleasure and comfort.  She was accompanied by wooden statues of servants and musicians with their instruments and had a full sized cosmetics case for her beauty regimen.  If you enjoyed seeing the Terra Cotta soldiers from the first Emperor's tomb, this exhibit  is sure to delight. Docent tours are available and well worth the time.

Deborah Gentry, Innkeeper
Bath Street Inn

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