Chen Rentao (1906-1968), Hong Kong, and Frank Caro, C. T. Loo & Co., New York, to 1960 
From 1960 to 1979
Department of Treasury, U. S. Customs Service 
Freer Gallery of Art, from October 23, 1979 
 This object is one of a group of 88 objects (F80.104-F80.180, FSC-S-22-25 and FSC-O-11a-h) seized in 1960 by the U.S. Customs Service, Department of the Treasury, from the dealer and collector Chen Rentao, Hong Kong and Frank Caro of C. T. Loo & Co., New York. The objects were deemed to have been introduced into the commerce of the United States in violation of 19 U.S.C. 1592 (Trade with Communist China).
 See note 1. The object’s ownership title is based on the settlement agreement, dated November 1971, between the United States, Chen Tung Siang Wen, the executrix for Chen Rentao Estate, and Frank Caro, copy in object file. See U.S. Customs Service Memorandum, April 23, 1979 and a letter from Thadeus Rojek, Chief Counsel, Department of the Treasury, U.S. Custom Service, to Marie C. Malaro, Assistant General Counsel, Smithsonian Institution, dated November 29, 1979, copy in object file. The objects remained in the custody of the U.S. Customs Service office in New York until 1979.
 The object was transferred to the Freer Gallery of Art on October 23, 1979.
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
U.S. Customs Service
Frank Caro 1904-1980
Chen Rentao 1906-1968
The illustrious Tang-dynasty poet Du Fu (712-770) lived during a period of great turmoil. Bitter after his once promising government career was stalled, he wrote the poem "Planting Stem Lettuce," using the lettuce as an allegory for wasted and uncultivated talent. Painted images of cabbage, such as this one may allude, then, to Du's poem and bear subtle political critiques of corrupt government.
- Collection Area(s)
- Chinese Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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