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Spend your Holiday Break at the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Mythical Creatures: China and the World Exhibit


Artist/maker unknown, Chinese, Jar with a Mythical Qilin, Lion, and Elephant, late 1600s, porcelain with underglaze blue, polychrome enamel, and gilt decoration (Jingdezhen ware), 22 1/8 x 12 3/8 inches (56.2 x 31.4 cm), The Alfred and Margaret Caspary Memorial Gift, 1955

Mythical Creatures: China and the World
December 21, 2023 – June 1, 2025

This newly opened exhibition explores the theme of diversity by comparing mythical creatures from different cultures. While these fantastical animals may look different, they serve a similar purpose – to help humans make sense of the world.

On view are classic Chinese legendary mythical creatures—the dragon, phoenix and qilin—juxtaposed with collection highlights from Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, as well as Persia and Western Europe, to show the diversity of mythical creatures throughout the world, as well as their similarities and differences. Elaborately embroidered costumes and silver headdresses created by Miao, Yi and other minority peoples decorated with dragons, phoenixes, and creatures relating to origin myths are on display along with Chinese contemporary works of mythical creatures by artists Xu Bing and Ai Weiwei which show how the past continues to inform art today.

To learn more, click here.