US museum receives valuable Chinese calligraphy donations

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The University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) has received Chinese calligraphy donations worth more than 12 million U.S. dollars, the largest gift of art in the university's history, from the family of Lo Chia-Lun.

According to a news release posted on the UM website on Wednesday, the 72-piece Lo Chia-Lun Calligraphy Collection includes not only masterpieces of works of Yang Weizhen (1296-1370), Wang Shouren (1472-1529), Wen Zhengming (1470-1559) and Wang Duo (1592-1652) that date back to Chinese Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties, but also works of Chinese cultural leaders of the early 20th century such as Cai Yuanpei (1868-1940), Chen Duxiu (1879-1942) and Shen Yinmo (1883-1971), as well as artists Xu Beihong (1895-1953) and Zhang Daqian (1899-1983).

The collection also includes several seals, ink stones and other objects from Chinese culture.

Lo Chia-Lun, 1897-1969, was a student leader in China's "May Fourth Movement" and used to be president of Tsinghua University.

"This gift honors not only the legacy of my father, but it also recognizes our family's deep roots at Michigan and our gratitude for the opportunities UM afforded us at a time when few Chinese students had the privilege of studying abroad," Jiu-Fong Lo Chang said of the calligraphy collection.

"The addition of the Lo Chia-Lun Collection will be transformative for UMMA's Asian art program," said UMMA Director Christina Olsen. "It will significantly deepen UMMA's holdings of Chinese calligraphy and will add depth and perspective to other UMMA artworks, enabling a more complete portrayal of Chinese art for museum visitors."

UMMA will partner with UM faculty and global scholars to research and interpret the works in the collection for major exhibitions and collections installations in the coming years, said Olsen. 

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