Monday, July 6, 2009

Terra Cotta Soldiers From China Visit Houston, Texas

Alan Around The World readers will remember that recently I visited an incredible miniature replica of the Chinese Terra Cotta Soldiers in Katy, Texas. Forbidden Gardens is the name of the attraction and I was highly pleased with the exhibit.
Strangely coincidental, the Houston Museum of Natural Science is hosting an exhibit of 20 of the actual soldiers so my friend Sari and I decided to check it out.


Let me state up front that once you reach the main hall of the exhibit it is stunning and well worth any hassle or inconvenience. The statuary is over 2,000 years old, full-size soldiers rendered in amazing detail, all formed from terra cotta. The faces of the soldiers are each unique with varied beards and clothing. A terra cotta horse with delicate flowing hair on his mane and detailed saddle work will take your breath away.
To look into the eyes of these men and realize that they each actually lived, were real men with wives and children and the brutal, sometimes short, lives of soldiers, it was just amazing.


Unfortunately the museum allows NO photography. I am sure if you asked they would say something about flash photos damaging the exhibit but I believe it more likely would damage the sale of books and postcards and calenders and such. So for your enjoyment I offer the above cheesy Andy Warhol rip-off print from the lobby and the extremely well done replicas in these two photos. Not good enough but it's the best I could do.
Keep in mind, like all of the Natural Science Museum's exhibits it is outrageously priced at $28 per person. The show is extremely oversold, the hallways crowded, like being at a concert in the front row. As usual one wonders if the air conditioners are on and the museum smells of body odor. (Houston is one of the fattest cities in America, so be prepared to get cozy with obese, sweaty wannabe cowboys and such.)


Still, though the Science Museum falls far short of our excellent Fine Arts Museum in style and professionalism, I have to say to go see the exhibit. Unless like me you happen to have plans to see all 6,000 of the real soldiers in China!
Hopefully next year I will have a better story to tell about these amazing artworks. Hopefully the Chinese allow me to take photographs.


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7 comments:

Douglas July 7, 2009 at 7:02 PM  

A thought occurred to me... what if they were real people? Just somehow, with some ancient Chinese magic or trickery, turned into terra cotta like Medusa turned people into stone?

Nahh...

Alan July 7, 2009 at 9:05 PM  

Someone told me there is a horror movie where the statues come back to life and wreak havoc. Did you produce that flick?
Alan

Douglas July 14, 2009 at 8:29 AM  

Please take up close and real personal photos when you visit the real thing in China.

I know... you will. Just a reminder.

Alan July 14, 2009 at 9:32 AM  

Oh yes, you know I will... if they let me!

Anonymous,  July 18, 2009 at 11:23 AM  

Hey, Alan. We are not all obese, sweaty wannabe cowboys and such. For someone who has traveled the world, your comments lack couth.

-Native Houstonian

Alan July 18, 2009 at 7:29 PM  

Anonymous,
That is true. It is also true that Houston consistently rates high in obesity statistics. On this particular day the museum had a full share and more of large men with the "western" style clothes, and several of them were quite pungent. I lack couth and several other qualities but in this instance I did have acute observation skills.
Alan

alex February 27, 2010 at 8:13 AM  

Oh How I'd wish i can take one home! I saw these during our Houston dating getaway! We were lucky to see them displayed there!

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