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The first comprehensive history of China's most luxurious textile and its enduring influence on Chinese civilization and art

Over the past fifty years, archaeological explorations in China have unearthed a wealth of textile materials, some dating as far back as five thousand years. In this magnificently researched and illustrated book, preeminent Western and Chinese scholars draw upon these spectacular discoveries to provide the most thorough account of the history of silk ever written.

Encyclopedic in breadth, the volume presents a chronological history of silk from a variety of perspectives, including archaeological, technological, art historical, and aesthetic. The contributors explore the range of uses for silk, from the everyday to the sublime. By directly connecting recently found textile artifacts to specific references in China's vast historical literature, they illuminate the evolution of silk making and the driving social forces that have inspired the creation of innovative textiles through the millennia.

Editorial Reviews

Textile Society of America - R.L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award

Awarded the 2012 R. L. Shep Ethnic Textiles Book Award given by the Textile Society of America.

Library Journal

Produced by a cooperative effort between Western and Chinese scholars and part of “The Culture and Civilization of China” series, which hopes to make previously inaccessible resources available to Western scholars, this book—the first general history of Chinese silk in English and the most comprehensive in any language—is an unqualified success. Its editor, Kuhn (sinology, emeritus, Univ. of W?rzburg, Germany; coauthor, The Age of Confucian Rule: The Song Transformation of China), along with a host of expert contributors, covers every aspect of Chinese silks from the Neolithic Era through the Qing Dynasty. Each chapter discusses a different period in history from archaeological, technological, art historical, and aesthetic perspectives. Artistic and technical innovations are highlighted as well as the economic and social significance of silk production in China. This book is a visual pleasure and is extensively illustrated with color photographs of textiles.

Verdict Providing a sense of the rich craftsmanship of Chinese silk making, this title will be of interest to anyone curious about textiles or the art, culture, or history of China. A delight for the mind and the eyes.—Julia A. Watson, Marywood Univ. Lib., Scranton, PA(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780300111033
Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication date: 09/25/2012
Series: The Culture & Civilization of China
Pages: 624
Product dimensions: 9.40(w) x 12.30(h) x 1.90(d)

Customer Reviews