The side and rear galleries continue the journey theme and present objects of particular value to Mrs. Phillips because of their uniqueness, age, material, or provenance. These galleries reveal the preferences and temperament of the collector, for in spite of their differences, they are connected by Mrs. Phillips’ affinity for a human focus. Many of the objects depict people; they include portrayals of ordinary people and scenes of daily life as well as emperors and legendary figures.
The rear gallery features a special exhibit of objects relating to the world of the Chinese scholar, or mandarin. Scholars endured a rigorous educational process in order to achieve their status as “cultivated gentlemen” as well as representatives of the emperor. Part public official, part educator, part guardian of morals and ethics, a mandarin strived for the highest level of refinement in the arts of painting, calligraphy, and poetry. The Maridon display includes a number of scrolls fronted by a scholar’s table covered with implements that the scholar used for his artistic pursuits — ancient, decorated ink blocks, ink stones, scroll boxes, brush pots, flywhisk, a contemplative rock, and even a scholar’s chair.
In addition to the display, free docent tours are available. Reservations are required for group tours, and are suggested for docent tours and the video presentation. The museum telephone number is 724.282.0123.