Sat. Jun 15th, 2024

Qi Baishi, China’s Modern Master




April 11 – July 11, 2015

Santa Ana, CA (March 16, 2015)—Bowers Museum is honored to host an exhibition of scroll paintings by China’s most renowned modernist painter, Qi Baishi (1864-1957). The exhibition, Qi Baishi: China’s Modern Master, is on display from April 11 to July 11, 2015, and on loan from the Hunan Provincial Museum located in Changsha, China. Qi Baishi was born in Hunan Province, and the exhibition is significant as it marks the first occasion that this collection has been exhibited in the United States. The forty-seven paintings on display document the artist’s early career as a figure and landscape painter to the paintings from the zenith of his career that favored quick, expressionistic images of animals, flowers and food; subjects relatable to all people and especially significant to Qi Baishi as they reminded him of his humble beginnings.

Born in 1864 to a poor family in Hunan Province, Qi Baishi’s first career was as a traveling furniture-maker. He began studying art at the age of 27, and continued to paint people and the landscapes he encountered as he traveled through China. His style is unique, boldly blending his mark as an individual with traditional Chinese painting methods. In his 60s, Qi Baishi settled in Beijing, where his painting style and career blossomed beyond imagination. His quick-witted poetic and humorous inscriptions placed on his paintings accentuate the spontaneous and natural ease of his subject matter. His avant-garde approach earned him the respect of his countrymen and foreigners alike. He was compared to Rodin, publicly admired by Picasso, and influenced the work of many artists, including Isamu Noguchi. Today, Qi Baishi is recognized as China’s most important modern artist, and follows only Picasso and Warhol in terms of highest auction sales. It is likely he holds the record for the artist whose work is most imitated and forged. Qi Baishi is also recognized as a virtuoso wood carver and stone seal maker; examples of both are included in the exhibition.

Qi Baishi passed away in 1957 at the age of 93 after receiving many prestigious awards and appointments, including the title of the People’s Artist by the Central Cultural Ministry and the Chairman of the Chinese Painting Research Society of Beijing and the Chinese Artists’ Association in 1953. He also received the International Peace Award from the World Peace Council in 1956.

This exhibition is organized by the Hunan Provincial Museum in China, and is made available to the Bowers Museum by means of an exhibition exchange. First Americans: Tribal Art of North America, which contains more than 100 American Indian artifacts from the Bowers Museum’s collection, is on loan to the Hunan Provincial Museum from March 27 to May 27, 2015.


The Bowers Museum has earned an international reputation through its world-class exhibitions, including Warriors, Tombs and Temples: China’s Enduring Legacy, Terra Cotta Warriors: Guardians of China’s First Emperor, Secrets of the Silk Road, and Mummies – Death and the Afterlife: Treasures from the British Museum, as well as its own extensive art collections from throughout the Americas and the South Pacific. Additionally, the Bowers’ Kidseum, located one block south of the main museum, offers a high-tech and interactive focus on its new mission of “Igniting Imagination Through Exploration” spotlighting the excitement of art and archaeology.

Enjoy a leisurely luncheon at our award-winning restaurant, Tangata. Outdoor seating is also available, overlooking the Bowers historic mission-style courtyard from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Browse the rare and exotic at the Bowers Museum Gallery Store. It’s more than just a shopping trip—it’s a cultural experience.

Bowers Museum and Kidseum are closed on Mondays, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Regular operating hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 AM to 4 PM.

TICKETS weekday weekend

Adults $13* $15*

Seniors (62 & over) & Student $10 * $12 *

Children (under 12) Free* Free*

Purchase tickets online at

*Pricing subject to change


Thank you to the Target Corporation for making access possible to all visitors on Target Free First Sundays and to the Nicholas Endowment for sponsoring our Family Festivals on the first Sunday of each month. Bowers also offers free admission to Santa Ana residents, with proof of residency, each Sunday, through a generous donation in memory of Dorothy Goerl and courtesy of the Lockhart Family.

BOWERS MUSEUM, in Santa Ana, is centrally located in the heart of Southern California.

Address: 2002 North Main Street, Santa Ana, CA 92706

Tickets and Information/ 714.567.3600

Group Tours: / 714.567.3680

Membership: / 714.567.3639


By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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