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Inhaltsangabe: Art takes many forms. In this selection of Asian court attire, dating from the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), the phrase "you are what you wear" resonates. Vollmer journeys back to the thirteenth-century Chinese Empire, where ancestors of the ruling Manchu conquerors dressed fittingly. These exquisite costumes remind us that royalty once set fashion standards the way that celebrities do today, but that these garments also promoted distinct national and political messages that helped keep a ruling minority in power for nearly three centuries. Dressed to Rule is a guide to the exhibit, of the same name, that appeared at the University of Alberta in 2007.
From the Back Cover: FRONT FLAP Art takes many forms and serves many functions. In this selection of Chinese court dress dating from the Qing dynasty (1644–1911), the phrase “you are what you wear” resonates. Vollmer journeys back to thirteenth-century Jin dynasty Chinese empire, where ancestors of the Manchu conquerors dressed fittingly. These beautiful garments remind us that although royalty once set fashion standards in the way that celebrities do today, these robes also promoted distinct national and political messages that helped to keep a ruling minority in power for nearly three hundred years. Over fifty colour photographs, including details of exquisitely wrought robes for members of the imperial Qing court, period portraits, and details from a rare hand scroll illustrating the Chinese emperor’s tour of cities along the Grand Canal, bring Dressed to Rule: 18th Century Court Attire in the Mactaggart Art Collection to life. Vollmer’s text illuminates the history of the political, cultural, and social developments behind the pageantry, deepening our appreciation for the rich and complex history of China. Dressed to Rule is a guide to the exhibition of the same name—the first public showing of the University of Alberta’s magnificent Mactaggart Art Collection. BACK COVER “This selection of Qing dynasty imperial robes and accessories from the Mactaggart Art Collection, dating from the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, is most closely connected in time to the Qianlong emperor’s court dress reforms. In them we can discern and deconstruct the workings of the Manchu state over a century and a half in its efforts to strike a balance between issues of national identity and the imperatives of a universal image of Chinese imperial authority. The flexibility, expediency, and diligence that we observe in the Manchu search for identity, and the willingness to adjust that image, resulted in a remarkably stable and powerful dynasty, which held sway over the most expansive and diverse empire ever achieved in Chinese history.” —John Vollmer BACK FLAP John E. Vollmer is an internationally recognized curator and scholar in the fields of Asian art, textiles and costumes, decorative arts, and design. He is author of thirty museum exhibition catalogues and numerous academic and popular books and articles. He has held curatorial appointments at the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, and at the Glenbow Museum in Calgary. He served as director of the Kent State University Museum, Kent, Ohio and was the founding executive director of the Design Exchange in Toronto. Since 1991, he has worked as a consultant and President of Vollmer Cultural Consultants Inc., which specializes in exhibition design and gallery and museum planning. He has advised, studied and written about the Mactaggart textile and costume collection for over thirty years.
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