About This Artwork

Mrs. James Ward Thorne
American, 1882-1966

E-30: Chinese Interior, Traditional, c. 1937

Miniature room, mixed media
Interior: 12 1/4 x 21 3/4 x 13 in.
(30.625 x 54.375 x 32.5 cm)
Scale: 1 inch = 1 foot

Gift of Mrs. James Ward Thorne, 1962.455

In order to create an authentic Chinese interior, Mrs. Thorne commissioned a craftsman in Hong Kong to carve the screens and fretwork for this room. Following a traditional Chinese floor plan, this miniature room is arranged around a central courtyard and aligned with astrological orientation. The symmetrical arrangement of space is intended to create a desired sense of balance, order, and peace. Mrs. Thorne was most likely exposed to Chinese styles through Asian goods that made their way to Europe during the early 17th century. During this time, the East India companies from Holland and England established a monopoly on trade in the region, bringing to Europe blue-and-white ceramics and many other wares.

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