The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China, which ended its seven-month run on 11 November 2012, has been one of the most successful exhibitions ever staged at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. Attracting a total of 118,962 visitors, The Search for Immortality is the second most visited exhibition in the Museum’s history, after the 2011 blockbuster Vermeer’s Women: Secrets and Silence.
Curated by Dr James Lin, Senior Assistant Keeper of the Fitzwilliam’s Department of Applied Arts, The Search for Immortality was the first exhibition of its kind and related the story of the quest for immortality and struggle for imperial legitimacy in ancient China’s Han Dynasty. The show featured over 350 treasures in jade, gold, silver, bronze and ceramics in the most important exhibition of ancient royal treasures ever to travel outside China and was only shown in Cambridge. Organised in partnership with China’s State Administration for Cultural Heritage, Art Exhibitions China, Xuzhou Museum and the Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue Kings, visitors included such dignitaries as Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
The exhibition also met with critical acclaim including such accolades as:
[A] landmark show … The most intelligently conceived exhibition of ancient Chinese art within living memory. New York Times/International Herald Tribune;
The artefacts from the tombs tell a compelling tale – not so much of death, but of life and the quest for immortality. Financial Times;
As spectacular in its way as The First Emperor at The British Museum. The Lady
Exhibition dates: 5 May to 11 November 2012