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The Celestial City: Newport and China Opens Soon at Rosecliff in Newport

Canton Harbor Scene, attributed to Yeuqua (Chinese active 1850-1885)

The Preservation Society of Newport County – Rosecliff
The Celestial City: Newport and China
September 1, 2023 – February 11, 2024

548 Bellevue Ave
Newport, RI 02840

Since Newport’s beginnings as a colonial seaport, generations of its citizens have looked to China for knowledge, beauty, fortune and freedom. In turn, many different people of Chinese heritage, including artists, merchants, immigrant entrepreneurs and women suffragists, shaped all aspects of life in Newport. Their stories are at the heart of this exhibition.

The Celestial City explores China’s deep influence on Newport from the 18th century through the Gilded Age (1865-1915), when the city emerged as America’s premier summer playground and the fall of China’s last imperial dynasty transformed the ancient nation.

The extraordinary objects on display include more than 100 works from the Preservation Society’s collection and other institutions in a range of media, from paintings, sculptures, prints and photographs to fashion, ceramics, lacquerwares and lanterns.

Highlights include treasures of Chinese art collected by Newport merchants and industrialists; photographs and stories from Newport’s early Chinese community; and the writings, portraits and family heirlooms of Chinese women suffragists. Contemporary artworks by Yu-Wen Wu and Jennifer Ling Datchuk illuminate Chinese contributions to Newport as well as hidden connections between the Newport mansions and the Chinese-American experience.

To learn more, click here.