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China Then and Now

November 22, 2014 – March 8, 2015

Sponsored by
HSBC Private Bank


Chinese, Qing Dynasty (1644-1912)
Dragon Jar with Cover (one of pair),
Porcelain, blue and white
Overall: 3 3/8 x 3 9/16 inches
The Frick Collection, New York (1965.8.164,165)
  Northern Qi (550-577)
Head of a Bodhisattva
13 3/8 x 7 1/4 x 7 3/4 inches
Art Properties, Avery Architectural
& Fine Arts Library,
Columbia University in the City of New York, Sackler Collections

Liu Dan (b. 1953)
Winter Landscape, 2002
Ink on paper
24 3/4 x 102 1/2 inches
Private Collection

Co-Curator Amy G. Poster and Director
Karl E. Willers on China Then and Now
Click here to watch video
  Exhibition Sponsor HSBC, Joseph Canevari
Click here to watch video


China Then and Now brings together exemplary Chinese works of art from the classical, early modern and contemporary periods. The exhibition explores three millennia of one of the world’s most important artistic traditions from the perspective of American collectors on Long Island, such as Childs and Frances Frick and Dr. Arthur M. Sackler.

China Then and Now unfolds over three galleries, each of which showcases the elegant beauty of Chinese art of different eras and media. The exhibition opens with eleven large-scale classical stone sculptures lent by the Art Properties, Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University and formerly in the collections of Arthur M. Sackler. At the heart of China Then and Now, is an installation of blue-and-white porcelains from the Ming and Qing eras (17th to 18th centuries) collected by Childs and Frances Frick and on loan, for the first time, from The Frick Collection in New York. This display reunites these works with their original setting, the Georgian-style Bryce-Frick mansion that is today the home of the Nassau County Museum of Art. A final gallery presents extraordinary ink paintings by the renowned Beijing artist Liu Dan (born 1953) whose works bridge traditional forms with contemporary practices.

On view from November 22, 2014 through March 8, 2015, Nassau County Museum of Art’s first exhibition devoted to Asian art, China Then and Now sheds new light on a fascinating chapter in America’s engagement with China and its arts. This exhibition reveals the passion of American collectors of both the past and present for the culture and history of China.

China Then and Now is sponsored by HSBC Private Bank and is organized by guest curators Amy G. Poster, Curator Emerita of Asian Art at the Brooklyn Museum, and Kaijun Chen, Ph.D., post-doctoral Fellow at the Max-Planck-Institute for the History of Science.

Please visit the Events and For Children sections of this website to learn about the many public programs for adults and children offered in conjunction with China Then and Now that will expand and enhance the experience of viewing the exhibition.