China has the longest continuous civilization in world history. From this ancient country came such inventions as silk, paper, porcelain, the compass, gunpowder, the weather vane and the seismograph. The Museum has the finest and most comprehensive collection of Chinese art in the southeastern United States. Ranging from Neolithic (ca. 2500 B.C.) to modern works, the collection is particularly rich in ceramics, Chinese Buddhist art, and paintings of the 18th-20th centuries.
Of particular note is an impressive selection of Chinese underglaze blue and white decorated porcelain, with important pieces from every period, a large 15th century Buddhist temple mural, and the jade collection of Mrs. Georg Vetlesen, on long term loan from the Smithsonian Institute; Museum of Natural History.