Terracotta Army Exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Carrington had the day off from school yesterday, so we planned a day trip, just the two of us, to Richmond, which included a day of shopping following this trip to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts to see actual statues that are part of the Terracotta Army. I am going to share not only my photos, but a little Terracotta Army history (which is pretty fascinating!), exhibit info, and what Carrington I found to be most interesting.
What is the Terracotta Army, and what is its significance?
The Terracotta Army is a collection of life-size terracotta pottery sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. They are more than 2,300 years old, but were just rediscovered in 1974 by Chinese farmers. This discovery prompted Chinese archaeologists to investigate, revealing the largest pottery figurine group ever found in China.
The Terracotta Army is a form of funerary art, which means that they were made to be buried with the emperor in 210–209 BCE with the purpose of protecting the emperor in his afterlife. The figures include more than 8000 military figures such as soldiers, warriors, and general 130 war chariots, 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses, plus some officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians.
Most of the figures are still buried in the pits in which they were discovered, but many have traveled to museum exhibits around the world. A collection of 120 objects from the mausoleum and 12 terracotta warriors were displayed at the British Museum in London as its special exhibition "The First Emperor: China's Terracotta Army" from 13 September 2007 to April 2008. This exhibition made 2008 the British Museum's most successful year and made the British Museum the United Kingdom's top cultural attraction between 2007 and 2008. The exhibition brought the most visitors to the museum since the King Tutankhamun exhibition in 1972.
The Terracotta Army exhibit is now at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, where it will be on display through March 11, 2018. You can find more information here on their website.
What I found to be most interesting is how detailed and individual the statues are. I had the incorrect assumption that the soldiers were all the same. If you google pictures of the statues still underground, there are thousands of them, and I thought they might all be the same. They are not. They are so individually carved in such detail, down to the intricate hair styles and ornate military attire. Speaking of which, why can't I get my hair to do this? in all my years of dancing and being a dance and theatre mom, I have yet to perfect a bun to this degree. And they used stone. Seriously. I have some work to do.
The museum was very crowded when we arrived, and we had to wait about an hour to get into the exhibit. We spent a total of two hours in the museum - one hour viewing other exhibits, and about an hour in this exhibit. This is a ticketed exhibit, children's tickets are $10, and adult tickets are $20, VMFA members and military are free.
After the museum, Carrington and I headed to Short Pump for shopping. Let me tell you, shopping with my boy and my girl are such totally different experiences. It was an awesome day, and I'm so glad we shared this fun day. If you get a chance, go! Take good care, and have a great weekend, wherever you stay or go!