The Ronald S. Poe Collection is a St. Louis treasure. A passion for collecting Chinese jade, perhaps only matched by the Chinese passion for jade, has resulted in a collection of jade artifacts representing the most significant eras of China? past. The Poe Collection reflects the values ·the artistic and moral values ·of the world? oldest, continual civilizations.
The Chinese appreciation for jade has resulted in that lustrous stone? use in both ceremony and in everyday life. Animals, both real and fantastic, delight while jade blades, wedding chalices and wine vessels underscore the translation of every day life into stone. Each artifact of the collection represents the dedicated efforts of skilled craftsmen whose talents echo the traditions of previous generations. The Poe Collection also includes intricately crafted bronze vessels and mirrors.
Throughout the history of China, previous generations have been honored even as their art has been reinterpreted by later artisans. Constant throughout has been this ancient culture? fascination with jade ·jade sought out for its translucent beauty and its timeless permanence. The Poe Collection offers the viewer an unparalleled opportunity to draw near to the gemstone that has captured the imagination of the Chinese people, noble and commoner alike, and to a tradition that has preserved in royal stone the art and customs of a civilization.
The Poe Collection illustrates the traditions of China continually reinterpreted and presents to the St. Louis community a vibrant cultural legacy illustrated in enduring and treasured jade. It also reveals the delight of collecting and the passion of the collector. Together more than 200 artifacts will be shown in the first floor special exhibition gallery of the Saint Louis University Museum of Art.