Tea Houses: Sponsor an Important Facet of Chinese Culture & Help VMFA Build the Forbidden City

Tea House 560 - Copy

If you’ve been to VMFA recently, you’ve probably noticed the 3D printers humming away in the Atrium. They’re printing the hundreds of tiny buildings that make up the Forbidden City in honor of the upcoming special exhibition, which opens Oct 18. This printing project is part of a crowdfunding campaign  to support the museum’s exhibition program. Your tax-deductible donations support all of VMFA’s exhibitions—from traveling exhibitions like Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures from the Palace Museum, Beijing and Chihuly to those showcasing VMFA’s permanent collections.

Each giving level—this one is $25—is tied to an architectural element of the Forbidden City. In a series of six blog posts, we will provide the story behind each of these intriguing icons:

Tea has been an important facet of Chinese culture for more than 2,000 years and played a significant role in palace life. For example, during the first month of the Chinese New Year, Emperor Qianlong would host a tea party in the Palace of Double Splendor. Participants would compose poetry and sip “three purity tea,” an infusion of plum blossoms, fingered citron, and pine nut boiled in snow water. Favored guests received a special set of tea cups at the end of the event, each engraved with a poem about the “three purity tea” composed by Emperor Qianlong himself.

Help VMFA Build the Forbidden City and come by the museum to watch the progress!