History of Taiwan’s National Palace Museum captivates audience at Rice event

The Bioscience Research Collaborative first-floor auditorium was amply filled Jan. 11 for a presentation on the history and impact of Taiwan’s National Palace Museum as part of the Chao Center for Asian Studies’ Liu Distinguished Visitor Series. Audience members listened with rapt attention as Lisette Lou, head of administration of the National Palace Museum in Taipei, discussed the museum’s visionary founding in Republican China in 1925, just a dozen years after the end of the Qing Dynasty. The museum then split up during China’s civil war of the 1940s, and two branches were formed, one in Nationalist Taiwan and the other in Beijing (the Palace Museum). Today, Taiwan’s National Palace Museum has a permanent collection of nearly 700,000 pieces of ancient Chinese imperial artifacts and artworks — one of the largest collections of its type in the world. Jay Xu, director of the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, also spoke at the event.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is hosting a major exhibition of more than 160 works of art from the collections of the National Palace Museum, including treasures that have rarely been displayed outside of Taipei, through Jan. 29.

Through the support of Rice alumnus Frank Liu ’78 and his wife, Cindy, the Chao Center’s series is designed to enliven the research, education and community outreach activities of the center by bringing some of the world’s most distinguished scholars and artists to campus. (Photo by Jeff Falk)

Posing for a group photo after the event are, from left, Shih-shan Susan Huang, associate professor of art history at Rice; Anne Chao ’05, adjunct lecturer in Rice’s School of Humanities; Jay Xu; Lisette Lou; and Cindy and Frank Liu. (Photo by Hae Hun Matos)

About Jeff Falk

Jeff Falk is director of national media relations in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.