For several millennia, artists and artisans in China have been producing beautiful objects for religious rituals, burials, daily household use, and sheer aesthetic delight. The Colby College Museum of Art has significant holdings of such work, thanks to a major donation from Peter and Paula Lunder in 2013. The Lunder-Colville Chinese Art Collection is named in honor of Thomas Colville and complements the Museum’s existing collection of later Chinese ceramics from the Bernat and Choate families. Comprising 44 exceptional works of ritual and mortuary art dating from the prehistoric period to the Jin Dynasty (1126-1234), the Lunder-Colville Collection is the most important resource for the study of early Chinese art and culture in the state of Maine
A selection of work from this collection is now on view in the Lunder Wing and features early Neolithic pottery, bronze ritual vessels, funerary sculpture, Buddhist votive objects, fine imperial ceramics, and paintings. The installation supports the academic mission of the College, as professors and students in several departments, including East Asian Studies and History, will research and write about these objects in a variety of learning contexts.