Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Peng Curates Exhibit at Bowers Museum

This Sunday, November 12th, the exhibit “Empress Dowager Cixi: Selections from the Summer Palace” opens at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California. Dr. Ying-Chen Peng guest-curated the exhibition, which is the first time in the United States that a show has examined the Empress Dowager’s character beyond the scope of politics. While previous scholarship and past exhibitions have framed Empress Dowager Cixi’s life through her keen sense of political strategy and how she opened China’s trade routes to Europe, Dr. Peng resituates the Empress Dowager’s role as a formidable art patron and artist herself. This exhibition reimagines and reconstructs the Empress Dowager’s life at the Summer Palace through over 100 objects that have never before been exhibited in the United States.

Dr. Peng photo

Photo courtesy of Dr. Peng


Dr. Peng will be giving a talk, titled “The Matriarch is In: Empress Dowager Cixi and Her Art in the Summer Palace,” on Sunday about her work curating the exhibition. The talk will be held from 1:30-2:30pm at the Bowers Museum. Congratulations, Dr. Peng!

One thought on “Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Peng Curates Exhibit at Bowers Museum

  1. Hi, I’m an alumna of the M.A. Art History program. I docent at a historic home in Memphis, TN called the Mallory-Neely house. We have a screen purchased at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair from the Chinese Pavilion. On the tour we always discuss how the Empress Dowager chose the items for the Chinese Pavilion. I’m glad she is getting her own exhibit!

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