Bottled Desire

In 1979, Skidmore alumna Elizabeth J. Dyckman Tanner ’28 donated her personal collection of over sixty snuff bottles to Skidmore College. On view at the Tang for the first time, Dyckman Tanner’s collection speaks to the pull of these small, intricately crafted, tactilely fascinating objects. Since the origination of snuff bottles in mid-seventeenth-century China, people have sought and collected them in large numbers, in some cases amassing thousands.

In the imperial courts of the Qing Dynasty, the popularity of snuff resulted in intense demand for these new objects, inspiring artisans to produce small, portable vessels for users to carry on their person.

Appreciating them in addition as works of art, court nobles and patricians avidly collected the bottles for display. For the next century and a half, aristocratic Chinese arts patrons fostered an environment that allowed the arts, including the creation of snuff bottles, to flourish. Their allure spans centuries and continents, with the practice of collecting them continuing today.
Exhibition Name
Bottled Desire
Exhibition Type
Student Curated
State Farm Mezzanine Gallery
Aug 14, - Sep 30, 2012
Bottled Desire is organized by Nina Bocobo ’12, Tang Exhibitions Assistant, and supported by the Carter-Rodriguez Fund for Student-Curated Programs.
Student Staff
Nina Bocobo
Tang Museum Exhibitions Assistant
Pattern by Evelyn Wang ’19
Inspired by the exhibition 3-D Doings: The Imagist Object in Chicago Art, 1964-1980
The Tang Pattern Project celebrates the Museum’s 20th anniversary. Organized by Head of Design Jean Tschanz-Egger, past and current Tang Design Interns created patterns inspired by the Museum’s exhibition and event history.