Chicago art institute celebrates mid-fall holiday

By Jian Ping in Chicago ( China Daily USA ) Updated: 2016-09-09 11:26:08

Chicago art institute celebrates mid-fall holiday

The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) announced a special celebration of one of the most important festivals in Chinese culture.

"The importance of the Mid-Autumn Festival is not much less than the Spring Festival," said Tao Wang, the institute's curator of Chinese art.

This year marks the first time that AIC will feature a special celebration in the fall, following its Chinese New Year celebration in February.

Wang said AIC will take advantage of this opportunity to showcase some art that is "not usually seen" at the museum.

Selected works related to the Mid-Autumn Festival are featured from now until the end of the month. They include a painting titled Chang E, the Moon Goddess (1350-1400) from the late Yuan or early Ming dynasty, a lobed mirror with images of the Moon Palace from the eighth century Tang Dynasty, a jar with a poem describing the moon from the Qing Dynasty and a scepter with head in the shape of a cloud, also from the Qing Dynasty.

During the celebration, AIC will offer bilingual, self-guided mini-tours, free curator-led public tours and special stage performances with complementary Chinese mooncakes, tea and Tsingtao beer.

"We know food is very important to our Chinese guests," said Nora Gainer, AIC's director of tourism marketing.

"The performance and mooncakes are not just for Chinese visitors," she added, "but also for Americans".

Gainer said AIC wants to connect an important part of Chinese culture to the museum.

Over the past few years, AIC has witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of visitors from China, from about 10,000 in 2014 to more than 15,000 in 2015, a 50 percent hike.

AIC has hired more Chinese-speaking guides.

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