Heralding the exhibition "Splendors of Imperial China: Treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei," which opens at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art on March 19, and will travel to San Francisco and Washington, D.C., the article chronicles the 20th-century odyssey of what is widely regarded as the finest collection of Chinese art in existence. More than 400 of these works will be shown here. During the Japanese invasion of China and the later civil war between the Nationalist Chinese and the Communists, the treasures were hidden away in caves and temples, secretly shuttled between major cities and towns of the mainland.
Ultimately, with the retreat of Chiang Kai-shek's forces to Taiwan, the collection was transferred there. The article deals with the esthetics and cultural significance of the great bronzes, landscape paintings, calligraphies and porcelains, introducing the American reader to the importance of and sheer pleasure to be found in these splendors of Chinese art.