A Chinese Wooden Gate from the 1800s

This imposing gate once formed the entrance to the main courtyard of a middle class urban family compound. The four character panel over the doorway reads “履謙漸豐” (“Humility brings prosperity”). It demonstrates the hallmarks of traditional Chinese architecture: a post-and-lintel structure and the bracketing that support a graceful gable roof. Intricate supporting rafters and brackets extend the eves and provide decoration. Like other traditional Chinese architectures, no glue or nails are used and the gate is assembled using only joinery and wooden pins.

The gate comes from Shanxi province which, because of its dry climate, contains the largest concentration of surviving wooden historic structures in China. An inscription on a once-adjoining building dates the gate to 1858, during the Qing dynasty (1644-1912).



Buddhist Court, reinterpreted: View a selection of masterworks, spanning nearly 2,000 years, that reflect the great stylistic variation of Buddhist sculptural imagery. From the Buddha’s homeland in northern India, practitioners carried devotional objects to other parts of Asia, where artists created new models that reflected local aesthetics and norms. Opens mid-summer in the Sit Investment Associates Gallery (G200).

July tours: See tomb and temple sculptures, a scholar’s library and a teahouse, scroll and miniature paintings, and tour-de-force decorative arts from across China, Japan, India, and Southeast Asia. Daily; 1pm.