Crane Art 2

Cranes in built structures

A different kind of ‘crane art’ – a gallery of images taken by researcher (and artist) Dr John Grant in Yunnan Province, China. Doors, streetlights and furniture items show the Black-necked Crane and Red-crowned Crane, celebrated in Tibetan and Chinese cultures. Copyright: To use images for any purpose please contact John Grant».

The Cranes

Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis (L) and Red-crowned Crane Grus japonensis (R)

Black-necked Crane Red-crowned Crane

Images courtesy International Crane Foundation (ICF)

The Black-necked Crane Grus nigricollis is revered in Tibetan Buddhist culture, and as a symbol of peace. The single population is centred on and around the Tibetan Plateau, and is listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN. More on the Black-necked Crane from ICF and IUCN. An image of Black-necked Cranes displaying in front of a festoon of prayer flags in Bhutan, is in Crane Art 1.

The Red-crowned Crane Grus japonensis is a symbol of longevity and fidelity in Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures. It has a wider distribution than the Black-necked Crane, but is listed as Endangered due to population declines across most of its range. More on the Red-crowned Crane from ICF and IUCN.


Elaborate carved and painted wooden doors are a feature of houses, temples and other buildings in NW Yunnan Province. The identifiable Cranes in door panels are all Red-crowned.

↓ Double panelled door in Lijiang, Yunnan Province

Door panel

↓ Doors in Zhongdian (Shangri-La). Note the matching blue padlock

Door panel Door panel Door panel

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Decorative objects including furniture, household items and sculpture also feature cranes.

Red-crowned cranes on porcelain seat of carved bench (Dali) & sculpture in Shangri-La. See also bonsai pot in Sidebar →

Seat Sculpture

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The elegant Black-necked Crane streetlights of Zhongdian (Shangri-La)

Streetlights Streetlights

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Next: Crane Art 3, Logos and signs»

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