Liang and Lin: Partners in Exploring China's Architectural Past

Overview

Wilma Fairbank documents, from both a historical and a uniquely personal perspective, the professional and personal achievements of Lin Whei-yin and Liang Sicheng. Liang and Lin were born in early twentieth-century China, a time when the influences of modernism were slowly bearing down on the traditional culture. In the 1920s, they traveled together to the Beaux Arts universe of Philadelphia, where they both graduated with honors from the architecture department of the University of Pennsylvania. Married in 1928,...

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Overview

Wilma Fairbank documents, from both a historical and a uniquely personal perspective, the professional and personal achievements of Lin Whei-yin and Liang Sicheng. Liang and Lin were born in early twentieth-century China, a time when the influences of modernism were slowly bearing down on the traditional culture. In the 1920s, they traveled together to the Beaux Arts universe of Philadelphia, where they both graduated with honors from the architecture department of the University of Pennsylvania. Married in 1928, they returned to their native land and became the first two professors at the newly founded school of architecture in Shenyang's Tung Pei University.

Wilma Fairbank and her husband, John King Fairbank, Harvard University's eminent historian of modern China, were lifelong friends of Liang and Lin. This relationship allows the author, herself a noted researcher of art and architecture, to paint a vivid picture of the couple within the context of China's turbulent past. Fairbank recounts how Liang and Lin used their Western training to initiate the study of China's architectural evolution. She also documents—as seen through the eyes of Liang and Lin—the tragic events that ravaged the Chinese homeland and its people: the 1937 invasion and bombings by the Japanese military and the ensuing illness and poverty; World War II and the civil war; the rise to power of the Communist government in 1949; and the victimization of the scholar class during the Cultural Revolution of 1966-76.

Fairbank provides a highly readable, emotionally charged personal account of the couple's lives, and the numerous and sometimes horrific torments and humiliations they suffered. And, finally, when it was all too late, the posthumous praise and recognition.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Liang and Lin is the story of a romance and of a heroic struggle against great odds. . . . Wilma Fairbank, who is the only person . . . who could have written this story, has created an affecting portrait of the final years of an epoch when Old China faded away and New China took its place."—New York Times

"No one who reads it will forget it."—Boston Globe

Booknews
After studying in Philadelphia and marrying, Lin Whei-yin and Liang Sicheng became the first two professors in the new school of architecture at Shenyang's Tung Pei University in 1928. Fairbank shows how their western training, personalities, close relationship, the perspective of their social origins, and their experience of modernism, war, and revolution bent the twig that has become the tree of Chinese architectural history. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812220407
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/7/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,421,393
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Wilma Fairbank (1909-2002) is editor of Liang Sicheng's A Pictoral History of Chinese Architecture.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction
A Note on Names
Acknowledgments
Pt. 1 Preparations, 1901-1928 1
1 Favorite Son 3
2 Favorite Daughter 10
3 Their Teens 15
4 Professional Studies 23
5 Homecoming 31
Pt. 2 Achievements, 1928-1937 39
6 A Professorship 41
7 In Peking 45
8 Architectural Historian 49
9 Search for Surviving Buildings 54
10 The Liang Household 60
11 Further Searches 65
12 A Joint Expedition in Shansi 73
13 Japanese Encroachment 84
14 Interval of Reprieve 89
15 Triumph and Disaster 94
Pt. 3 Survival in Wartime, 1937-1945 99
16 Escape 101
17 Settling in Kunming 106
18 Uprooted 114
19 The Capital and the Village 123
20 The Stress of Poverty 128
21 New Hopes 133
Pt. 4 Between War and Revolution, 1946-1948 135
22 War's End 137
23 Return to Kunming and Peking 143
24 Honors, 1947 148
25 Worrisome Days 155
26 Final Letter 159
Pt. 5 Under the Communist Party, 1949-1972 167
27 Defeats 169
28 Lin Zhu's Story 176
Afterword 191
Notes 197
Selected Bibliography 201
Index 203
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2004

    More about Lin

    Still,I tried to tell someone else this story in Chinese.Unluckily,no one even interested about it.There are several information I wish that could help you to know Lin such as a poet,an artist,or a philosopier......Generetically,she got her father's talents in the areas of aesthetics.Lin enjoyed poetry since she had start to read in her girlhood.Later,she found herself as an art lover whom prepared to be an architect,so she spend 3 years trained under professionals. One of her best friend,Lao Jing,a famous philosophier influenced her in someway recreated her logic thinking,also changed her in a path of pursuits of the dreams.Lin's beloved old friend,Xu Zhimo,was the founder of Mordern Chinese romantic poetry,thought Lin is his fountain of inspirations,many of his earlier works were based upon a godlike Huiyin,he'd rather believed there she existed nor extinguished the flame of hope.Lin is a true perfect lady hopefully without any rumors quietly lied in the history of Chinese architecture.I immerged in her peaceful,graceful,vivid literature works many times. When the night turned into really cold,I opened her poetry collections again,only 63 of them preserved until today.That kind of beauty blow me up swiftly.I can like a bird flew on the sky of imaginary.It seems all the things just happened yestday,but it past decades,Lin's 100th birthday will coming soon,which definitely is June,10th,2004.Let's waiting for the day her soul comes back.It must be the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. A myth comes true.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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