Stone gathered from the Yi River at Longmen

Historical period(s)
ca. 1910
Medium
Stone with wood stand
Dimensions
H x W x D: 4.2 x 3.1 x 2 cm (1 5/8 x 1 1/4 x 13/16 in)
Geography
China, Yi River, Longmen
Credit Line
Gift of Charles Lang Freer
Collection
Freer Gallery of Art
Accession Number
F1911.578a-b
On View Location
Currently not on view
Classification(s)
Stone
Type

Stone

Keywords
China
Provenance

From 1911 to 1919
Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), gathered at the Yi River, at Longman, China, in 1911 [1]

From 1920
Freer Gallery of Art, gift of Charles Lang Freer in 1920 [2]

Notes:

[1] According to Curatorial Remark 1 in the object record, this stone was "gathered at the Yi River by Mr. Charles L. Freer, while at Lung-men." See Reserved Miscellaneous List, R. 5675, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives.

[2] The original deed of Charles Lang Freer's gift was signed in 1906. The collection was received in 1920 upon the completion of the Freer Gallery.

Previous Owner(s)

Charles Lang Freer 1854-1919

Label

By mounting this stone on a wooden stand, Charles Lang Freer was likely showing awareness of the Chinese tradition of collecting and displaying Scholars Rocks (spirit stones). In this tradition, natural (as well as subtly, almost invisibly hand-worked) stones were regarded as art. However, Freer’s choice of river stones does not conform to the usual aesthetic codes by which Scholar’s Rocks were  chosen, thus his mounting of the stones places them in between the sentiments of a Westerner collector of geological specimens (with a strong souvenir interest because they are from Longmen) and the taste and aesthetic considerations of a Chinese collector of Scholars Rocks.

Collection Area(s)
Chinese Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
SI Usage Statement

Usage Conditions Apply

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery welcome information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.