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Art Study Center Seminar at Home: Chinese Gold from the Winthrop Collection

This image shows a luminous, triangular gold plaque with two small round holes drilled in each of the three corners. The long sides of the triangle, which are at the left and right of this image, feature relief images of identical striding tigers with snarling facial features and lean bodies. There is a mythical creature with a human-like head that is joined to two hindquarters, perhaps those of a dog, by a sort of collar on the short side of the triangle, which is the bottom of this image.
Triangular plaque with decoration of two striding tigers and a mythical creature in the form of a human-headed leopard, Chineses, Zhou dynasty, Warring States period, 5th–3rd century BCE. Repoussé gold. Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop, 1943.52.84.C.


Since we are unable to welcome you into the museums at this time, we are bringing our experts to you in a new online series, Art Study Center Seminars at Home.

When Grenville Lindall Winthrop left his extensive collection to the Fogg Art Museum in 1943, it contained three gold plaques dating to China’s Warring States period (475–221 BCE). Never displayed to the public, the plaques remained a mystery until recent excavations and archival records shed new light on their origins. In this seminar, curator Sarah Laursen investigates the decoration and function of the gold plaques, as well as the story of how they reached the Harvard Art Museums.

Led by:
Sarah Laursen, Alan J. Dworsky Associate Curator of Chinese Art, Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art

This virtual seminar will take place online via Zoom. Free admission, but registration is required. To register, please complete this online form.

You will receive an email confirming your registration along with a Zoom link and password for the program. If you have any questions, please contact

For instructions on how to join a meeting in Zoom, please click here.

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