For millennia, Chinese artists have created images of animals that convey a rich array of culturally significant meanings. Literary sources, spiritual traditions, or the nature of animals inspired artists to create animal motifs in many art forms. These creatures may represent celebration, personal messages, or political and religious agendas. Though the cultural meaning carried by images of animals has evolved over time, their significance to Chinese artistic traditions has remained constant. Drawn from the Museum’s renowned collection of Chinese art, Lively Creatures celebrates the beauty of the natural world and tells stories that connect human and animal behavior.
Organized by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.