Upcoming Events

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Asian Arts Council of the San Diego Museum of Art (ZOOM)

"Sailing to Cathay: Maritime Trade Routes to Asia Before and After the Arrival of the Europeans at the Turn of the Sixteenth Century."

Thursday, February 25, 2021


“Sailing to Cathay” explores the vibrant maritime trade routes that existed in what are now known as the Arabian Sea, Indian Ocean, and South China Sea before and after the arrival of Europeans in Asia at the turn of the sixteenth century. Maritime trade routes were the ancient highways carrying commodities, art, ideas, people, and religion between Europe and Asia, with an impact felt at both ends. By the middle of the seventeenth century, Chinese porcelain, lacquer, textiles, tea, and more were common exports making their way to the markets of Europe..

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Please note, this session will be conducted virtually via Zoom.


 All participants will be sent the Zoom link and instructions via email once you secure your place. Space is limited.

Past Events 

International Chinese Snuff Bottle Society Annual Convention (ZOOM)

"Sailing to Cathay: Maritime Trade Routes to Asia Before and After the Arrival of the Europeans at the Turn of the Sixteenth Century."

Saturday, November 8, 2020


Active trade routes ran between Asia, the Middle East, and Africa for centuries before the Portuguese, the first Europeans to make it, arrived on Asian shores. One reason for the delay was that for so long many Europeans believed that there was no sea route around Africa because it connected by land to Asia. Spices, aromatic woods, porcelains, silk, information, and more were big commodities transiting the oceans. China was an active participant in this, and evidence of Europe's impact on China and China's impact on Europe is abundant, including in Chinese snuff bottles. It was a cutthroat, dangerous time to voyage the seas, but the lure of profits and conquest drove the European powers to find a way to get there. History has not been the same since.

All are welcome to attend one or more of the four days of lectures. The registration fee is tax deductible.

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Guild Speaker Series at Cape Cod Museum of Art

The Qianlong Emperor's Obsession:  Creating Art in the Qing Dynasty

Imperial Workshops

Saturday, January 18, 2020


The fourth emperor of the Manchu Qing Dynasty, Hongli, known as the Qianlong Emperor, was a linguist, a prolific poet, and an avid collector and commissioner of art and knowledge. He was a great patron of Chinese painting, porcelain, jade, glass, enamel, silk, and more.  Much of this eighteen-century art was created by legions of artisans in almost three dozen Imperial Workshops, first established in Beijing's Forbidden City by his grandfather, the Kangxi Emperor, more than a century before. 


Learn more about the Qianlong Emperor's art obsession, the Imperial Workshops, and eighteenth-century China in this talk.