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Chinese Landscape in the Berkshires

Mabel Choate spent one month in Beijing in 1935. She brought home porcelains, lacquers, stone sculptures, snuff bottles, paintings, and more to decorate her “Berkshire Cottage” Naumkeag in Western Massachusetts as well as to create a Chinese Temple Garden on the estate grounds.

This wall hanging in the main stairway to the second floor is the combination of the two, right-side panels of a Chinese landscape screen and may have been purchased by Mabel during her trip to China.

The poem (seven characters per verse) reads:

Splendid treetop with twisted branches appears mysterious when viewed from a distance,
Clouded by smoke the tree extends as high as the blue sky,
I broom fallen flowers and learn to brew Yi Cheng wine,
If the gods get to drink my wine, they would be drunk with ecstasy.


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