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Poetic Place-Setting

Posted on by Minneapolis Institute of Arts

China, Ch’ing dynasty, Ch’ien-lung period, Jade Mountain Illustrating the Gathering of Poets at the Lan T’ing Pavilion, 1784, light green jade, The John R. Van Derlip Fund and gift of the Thomas Barlow Walker Foundation

When entertaining, many people adorn their dining tables with festive centerpieces—a striking bouquet, perhaps. But how about orchestrating a meal around Jade Mountain? This 640 lb. sculpture was said to be a favored dining companion of Thomas Barlow Walker, founder of the Walker Art Center. Indeed, it occupied the formal dining room table at the Walker family mansion. And how exactly does one place such a treasure? Jade Mountain was slid into its spot on rollers to avoiding wrinkling the tablecloth.

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