Beyond Generations: Selected Paintings from the Former Weng Collection


Date:2019-09-10 ~ 2019-10-07
Venue:No. 3 Exhibition Hall

       Mr. Wan-go H. C. Weng, formerly known as Weng Xingqing, was born in Shanghai in 1918 with his ancestral home in Changshu. He is a great-great-grandson of Weng Tonghe (1830-1904). As a Chinese American, he acts as a preeminent social activist and a discerning connoisseur of Chinese calligraphy and painting as well. Mr. Wan-go H. C. Weng, the former president of the China Institute, has devoted himself to introducing Chinese culture to the West for decades. His first English catalogue The Palace Museum: Peking, Treasures of the Forbidden City drew enthusiastic responses in America. Moreover, the film Buddhism in China won him the gold medal at the Annual Atlanta Film Festival in 1973 and his another catalogue Chen Hongshou was valued as an important source for the study of Chinese ancient calligraphy and painting.
   The Weng collection of Chinese calligraphy and painting holds an important position in the modern history of connoisseurship in Jiangnan area. The artworks passed down through six generations of the Weng family were well preserved and treasured by Mr. Wan-go H. C. Weng at his Laixi Residence in America. In 2018, Mr. Wan-go H. C. Weng donated two paintings to the Shanghai Museum in celebration of his 100th birthday, which included Xie An’s Excursion to the Mount Dongshan Copying after Dai Wenjin by Shen Zhou of the Ming dynasty and Landscapes Inspired by Du Fu’s Poem by Wang Yuanqi of the Qing dynasty. With the additional important artwork The Taoist Deity in Plain Drawing Style by Liang Kai of the Southern Song dynasty previously purchased by the Shanghai Museum, these three superb paintings from the Laixi Residence well complemented the museum’s existing holdings of related periods.
   As one of our old friends, Mr. Wan-go H. C. Weng’s generous donation exemplifies his enduring affinity with the Shanghai Museum. We hereby present the special exhibition Beyond Generations: Selected Paintings from the Former Weng Collection in honor of Mr. Wan-go H. C. Weng’s tremendous contribution to his motherland China and the Shanghai Museum. The Chinese title of the exhibition ‘Laixi Huabao’ not only combines the names of Mr. Wan-go H. C. Weng’s residence and his wife Ms. Cheng Huabao, but also denotes to the Chinese art treasures on display in this exhibition. In the meantime, the exhibition is aimed to actively promote the spirit of patriotism and China’s cultural undertakings.
   Finally, we would like to show our high respect to Mr. Wan-go H. C. Weng for his generosity of sharing the invaluable paintings with the public!