International Textile Collection

Phoenixes and Dragons


An exhibition of Chinese costume from the Qing Collection

The Qing Dynasty extends from 1644 to 1911, and was the last imperial dynasty. An extensive range of decorative motifs were used to decorate textiles, often destined for garments. The Qing Collection in ULITA comprises over 200 nineteenth and early-twentieth century Chinese embroideries and tapestries, mostly acquired by Professor Barker of the Department of Textile Industries and his son during their work in China in the 1930s.

This exhibition highlights the costumes in the collection, including several examples of dragon robes and female jackets, skirts and ornate collars. Many fragments of costumes are also displayed, including sleeve bands, rank badges and dragon robe panels.

The complete collection of costumes is being exhibited together for the first time. Due to their fragility, this exhibition may be a rare opportunity to view several of the garments, including a women’s jacket couched with metallic thread and a tapestry-woven bride’s robe.

This exhibition complements the celebration of 50 years of the Department of East Asian Studies, which culminates in a series of events in late October.

The exhibition panel text is available to view

A related monograph, Dragons, unicorns and phoenixes – origin and continuity of technique and motif was produced for a 2004 exhibition on this collection.

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