San Antonio Museum or Art

Current Exhibitions

Entombed Treasures: Funerary Art of Han Dynasty China

February 2, 2013 — April 21, 2013

Entombed Treasures: Funerary Art of Han Dynasty China showcases the art, daily life, and beliefs of the Han dynasty through examples of tombware from SAMA’s own collection of Chinese ceramics and metalwork. The Han dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) was a period of great progress and innovation in early China. The visual arts flourished in these four centuries of increased cultural sophistication. Spiritual thought of the period emphasized the continuity between this life and the life experienced after death. Tombs of important officials and landowners were lavishly decorated and stocked with everything the deceased might need in the next world, including favorite belongings, everyday items, and food. Striking ceramic representations of the deceased’s attendants, animals, model homes and granary were among the objects that furnished the tombs. Bronze and earthenware objects in Entombed Treasures, some of which are rarely on view at SAMA, illustrate the development of funerary objects over the course of this formative ancient dynasty.

Lady and Attendants
China, Western Han dynasty, 206 BC-9 AD
Earthenware with pigments
Gift of Lenora and Walter F. Brown
Watchtower and Moat China
Watchtower and Moat
China, Eastern Han dynasty, 25 – 220
Earthenware with lead glaze
Gift of Lenora and Walter F. Brown
Warrior on Horseback China
Warrior on Horseback 
China, Western Han 220 BC – 9 AD
Earthenware with pigment
Gift of Lenora and Walter F. Brown 2007.20.5


This exhibition is available to tour.