New Songs on Ancient Tunes: 19th-20th Century Chinese Paintings and Calligraphy from the Richard Fabian Collection

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New Songs on Ancient Tunes presents a sweeping selection of Chinese paintings and calligraphies from the turbulent century between 1850 and 1950. Drawn entirely from the private San Francisco collection of the Reverend Richard Fabian, the works span the years between the Opium War and the Cultural Revolution. The book includes a survey of the bold style of the late nineteenth-century Shanghai School, as contrasted with the conservative artists of the late Qing dynasty Orthodox School, and examines the impact on artists of the new urban (and international) culture of Shanghai, and interactions with Western and Japanese art. The book also explores the influence of Chinese archaeology on late Qing dynasty calligraphy and in turn, the influence of new styles of calligraphy on painting.

Focusing on superb works by the leading artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, New Songs on Ancient Tunes includes the painters Ren Bonian, Xugu, Zhao Zhiqian, Wu Changshi. Fu Baoshi, Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong, and Zhang Daqian, and the calligraphers Deng Shiru, Yi Bingshou, He Shaoji, and Wu Dacheng. The book includes essays by Jonathan Spence, Chu-tsung Li, Stephen Little, and Qianshen Bai, and catalogue entries by Little, Rachel Farkas, Janet Carpenter, and Bruce McCLaren.

University of Washington Press

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Editorial Reviews

For novices and general readers, it will be a challenging and delightful introduction to the balance between old and new in art and culture in China. Essential.
School Library Journal

Much accumulated wisdom resides in this weighty tome. Some comes from the 137 Chinese painters and calligraphers (often one and the same) who inscribed original philosophical poems, respectful dedications, and selected quotations onto their works-often referencing people from the distant past. More insights come from numerous contemporary scholars who contributed essays and catalog entries that help the reader understand the layered nuances of this art: whether panoramic landscape scrolls, intimate studies of people and the natural world, or various calligraphic styles. Reverend Fabian's San Francisco collection is one of the most important of its kind outside of China, and his introductory essay beautifully compares the "feeling" of Chinese brush lines to Western musical melodies. Little, who directs the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the site of this 2007 Fabian exhibition of over 200 works, integrates the pieces into larger artistic trends, such as conservative classicism during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), the epigraphic movement, the innovative Shanghai school that developed around that international trading port, and 20th-century artists traveling abroad. Despite dramatic political upheavals, these resilient men-and three women-created remarkable homages, interpretations, and personal expressions of Chinese culture. Recommended for larger academic libraries.
—Anne Marie Lane

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780937426791
  • Publisher: Honolulu Academy of the Arts
  • Publication date: 1/1/2007
  • Pages: 640
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 12.30 (h) x 2.20 (d)

Table of Contents

Artists in the CatalogueDirector's Preface / Stephen LittleAcknowledgments / Stephen LittleAbout the ContributorsTimelineMap of ChinaMap of Jiangnan Region

A Fine Melody Will Sound Throughout the Ages Making Lofty Words Gleam as Beautiful as Gems / The Reverend Richard Fabian

Fractured China, 1850-1950 / Jonathan Spence

New Songs on Ancient Tunes, 19th-20th Century Chinese Painting and Calligraphy from the Richard Fabian Collection / Stephen Little

Open Country: Tradition and Innovation in Modern Chinese Painting / Chu-Tsing Li

Chinese Calligraphy in the Mid to Late Qing and Republican Periods (1850-1950) / Qianshen Bai

The Richard Fabian Collection1. Othodoxy in the Late Qing Dynasty2. Jinshi Movement Calligraphy3. Jiangnan Regional Schools4. Shanghai5. Artists Active in Northern China6. Southern Artists7. Transnational Exchange8. Mid-Century: Traditional Masters9. Cultural Revolution: Before and After10. Post-Revolution Monumentalism11. Postscript

Selected Chinese and Japanese Names and TermsBibliographyIndex

University of Washington Press

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