Just when Mr.JB and missjunebug begin to talk nostalgically about their travels to China last year and the year before, along comes the Bowers Museum with an exhibition to supply that longing with perfectly selected artifacts, tastefully presented, and fully explained in an audio tour! Last year it was the Terra Cotta Warriors that supplied the need; this year the Bowers has something even better: the first showing ever of Chinese mummies in the U.S. A preposterous coup for curators of the museum!
Way to negotiate, President Peter Keller and board member Anne Shih with the Xinhiang Uygur Autonomous Region Museum and the Xinjiang Institute of Archeology to secure the two amazing mummies and the other fine artifacts for public viewing!
In the 150-item exhibit, the museum goer will find two of the most amazingly well preserved Caucasoid mummies he or she is likely to see anywhere in the world. The “Beauty of Xiaohe” is the star of the show. In the audio tour Victor Mair professor of Chinese language and literature nicknames her the Marlene Dietrich of the Desert Â for her Â haunting, captivating beauty. missjunebug’s take on her: No botox needed here thanks to the dessicating salt and hot sand environment that encapsulated and preserved her. The beauty abides at 3800 years old!
The other mummy in the exhibit is a swaddled baby perfectly cocooned in a blanket, blue stones covering tiny eyes. Along side the baby, an ancient “baby bottle” fashioned from a goat’s udder will no doubt provide nourishment in the after life. missjunebug hopes this little one fairs better there.
In addition to the fab mummies, there are a pleasing plethora of artifacts, textiles, statuary, and many other ancient wonders to delight the eye and fill the mind with wonder. Don’t miss the veiled lady on horseback, the bronze eyeshades, the nifty slippers, the intricate robes of Yingpan Man, a mummy who didn’t make the trip but whose funeral clothing did! missjunebug wonders what he’s wearing now.
There is even a mouthwatering exhibit of a 1,000 year old wonton, a spring roll complete with dessicated goodies still inside, and a delightful and perfectly shaped chrysanthemum dessert that looks, well, good enough to eat!!
missjunebug encourages all her readers to check out this fine exhibit! Here are the necessary details:
Bowers Museum Â Â 2002 N. Main Street Â Â Santa Ana, CA
Through July 25: 10am-4pm Â Tuesdays-Sundays
A bargain at $16-$20
missjunebug encourages you to order tickets online at www.bowers.org and have them ready for you at Will Call. Parking is a measly 2 dollars! You can’t beat these numbers, people. Hop in your car next weekend and get some China culture going. The next thing you know you’ll be booking your flight to Beijing and traveling west along the Silk Road to find out these amazing secrets for yourself first hand.