© 2012 Cherokee Rose Productions

Between 1928 and 1953, Mr. and Mrs. Augustus Leach Searle gave their entire collection of Chinese antiquities, including over fifty important pieces of 17th and 18th century jade, 309 snuff bottles and five gold presentational boxes, to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

After the founding of the First Republic in 1912, Hsuan’tung, the final emperor of the Ching Dynasty was allowed to remain in his palace and keep the imperial art collection. However, as his debts grew, much of the art went into bank vaults in Shanghai and Peking as repayment of loans.  In the early 1920s, A. L. Searle was able to acquire much of this now priceless collection, dealing directly with the banks.  

In this interview, recorded on September 23, 2010, Matthew Welch, Deputy Director and Chief Curator of the MIA describes the significance of the Searle gifts.

Augustus Leach Searle