Explore gender and power through the lens of the exhibition Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644–1912. On an educator-led tour, learn about the lives of the Qing dynasty empresses through 135 objects made for, by, and about them. Breaking stereotypes of the women as glamorous, subservient wives, the exhibition reveals that they traveled, rode horses, performed royal duties, and exerted significant influence. After the tour, reflect on a future blueprint for gender equity while making light sculptures with teaching artist Althea Rao. Materials and snacks are provided. For ages thirteen to eighteen.
Empress Xiaoxian (detail), Qing dynasty, Qianlong period, 1777, with repainting possibly in 19th century, Ignatius Sichelbarth (Ai Qimeng) [China (born in Bohemia), 1708–1780], Yi Lantai (active about 1748–1786), and possibly Wang Ruxue (active 18th century), hanging scroll, ink and color on silk, Peabody Essex Museum, gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Sturgis Hinds, 1956, E33619. Photo by Walter Silver/PEM.