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US museum shows Cixi as arts patron

China Daily | Updated: 2017-11-14 07:29

SANTA ANA, California - For more than a century she has been known as the woman behind the throne, the empress who through skill and circumstance rose from lowly imperial consort to iron-fisted ruler of China at a time and in a place when women were believed to have no power at all.

But it turns out Empress Dowager Cixi was much more than that. The 19th century ruler, who consolidated authority through political maneuvering, was also a serious arts patron and even an artist herself, with discerning tastes that helped set the style for traditional Asian art for more than a century.

That side of Cixi comes to the Western world for the first time with Sunday's unveiling of Empress Dowager, Cixi: Selections From the Summer Palace at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana.

US museum shows Cixi as arts patron

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