Lecture | Marcia Reed, Engraving China’s Last Golden Age

Posted in lectures (to attend) by Editor on April 10, 2019

From Eventbrite:

Engraving China’s Last Golden Age: Qianlong Emperor’s Copper Plates
John Rylands Library, Manchester, 16 May 2019

The recent discovery of a complete set of 圆明园西洋楼铜版画 (engravings of European Palaces in Yuan Ming Yuan) at the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester, and the presence of a complete set of 乾隆西征铜版画 (engravings of The Qianlong Emperor’s Western Campaigns) at the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow, makes Britain home to two of the most unusual and rare sets of engravings ever made. This is a most significant find, not just for Britain but also—and more importantly—for the study of 18th-century China, its engagement with Europe, and Anglo-Chinese relations in the 19th century and in the future. This discovery also presents challenges, as the two sets need considerable conservation and research.

This public event will digitally showcase some of the known complete sets, and—conservation work permitting—will also physically display the Manchester set, which uniquely contains a hand coloured plate.

Keynote: Marcia Reed (Chief Curator at the Getty Research Institute), followed by a Q&A discussion hosted by Professor Yangwen Zheng (University of Manchester). Thursday, 16 May 2019, 11:45am.

New Book | Chinese Architecture: A History

Posted in books by Editor on April 10, 2019

From Princeton UP:

Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt, Chinese Architecture: A History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019), 400 pags, ISBN: 978-0691169989, $65 / £50.

Throughout history, China has maintained one of the world’s richest built civilizations. The nation’s architectural achievements range from its earliest walled cities and the First Emperor’s vision of city and empire, to bridges, pagodas, and the twentieth-century constructions of the Socialist state. In this beautifully illustrated book, Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt presents the first fully comprehensive survey of Chinese architecture in any language. With rich political and historical context, Steinhardt covers forty centuries of architecture, from the genesis of Chinese building through to the twenty-first century and the challenges of urban expansion and globalism.

Steinhardt follows the extraordinary breadth of China’s architectural legacy—including excavation sites, gardens, guild halls, and relief sculpture—and considers the influence of Chinese architecture on Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Tibet. Architectural examples from Chinese ethnic populations and various religions are examined, such as monasteries, mosques, observatories, and tombs. Steinhardt also shows that Chinese architecture is united by a standardized system of construction, applicable whether buildings are temples, imperial palaces, or shrines. Every architectural type is based on the models that came before it, and principles established centuries earlier dictate building practices. China’s unique system has allowed its built environment to stand as a profound symbol of Chinese culture.

With unprecedented breadth united by a continuous chronological narrative, Chinese Architecture offers the best scholarship available on this remarkable subject for scholars, students, and general readers.

Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt is professor of East Asian art and curator of Chinese art at the University of Pennsylvania. She has written, edited, or translated ten books, including China’s Early Mosques and Traditional Chinese Architecture: Twelve Essays (Princeton).


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