After a 12 month long US tour with stops in San Francisco, Indianapolis, and St. Louis, Power and Glory: Court Arts of China’s Ming Dynasty, has finally returned home to China. This is the end of a project that I have worked on for more than three years.
The last leg of this journey started in Chicago at O’Hare airport where I oversaw the loading of 25 crates of objects onto a plane bound for Beijing. The crates had come to Chicago from their last exhibition venue in St. Louis.
A mere 13 1/2 hours later I was busy watching those same crates transfer to a cargo warehouse where they were loaded onto two trucks headed for the Forbidden City. This is the first stop for the objects, some of which will continue on to Shanghai and Nanjing.
It is hot and smoggy in Beijing, a sharp contrast to my previous winter trip. This is the third year in a row that I have made this same three city tour. I first came in 2007 to inspect the objects and plan their transportation, and returned in 2008 to oversee packing and to accompany the crates to the United States. Each time there is something new to discover.
Like how did they figure out a way to keeep a huge square in the center of the hotel bathroom mirror from fogging up? Does everyone working at the Palace Museum need to wear face masks? (The answer is yes). I saw a new restaurant that I did not see last year: Subway sandwiches.
I’m sure that I will discover more changes over the coming weeks, as I say a fond goodbye to Power and Glory.
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