Ms. Dale Carolyn Gluckman, a former head of the Department of Costume and Textiles at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is an independent curator specializing in Asian textiles and dress.
She is a senior advisor to the Queen Sirikit Museum of Textiles, Bangkok. In 2007 she curated the exhibition, Rank and Style: Power Dressing in Imperial China for the Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, California.
In the 17th century a newly unified group of horsemen and herders, dubbed Manchu by their leader Hongtaiji, drove the Ming, the last indigenous Chinese Empire, from power. In 1644 they established their own dynasty, the Qing, destined to rule China for over 300 years.
The women of the Qing court, Manchu aristocracy and Han Chinese gentry have left a legacy of some of the most beautiful clothing ever made.
Analysis of surviving garments and accessories reveals the complex relationship between the rulers and the ruled: dress for the Han and Manchu was an area of contention, dialogue and continual exchange that manifested itself in the 19th century and continued to the end of the dynasty in 1911.
Distinctive modes of headdress and footwear maintained the “frame”, within which a shifting “picture” of styles were combined and recombined in an ever-changing dynamic. As this talk reveals, however, even the "frame”; wasn't immutable.
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