Possessing the Past: Treasures from the National Palace Museum, Taipei

Fong, Wen

ISBN 10: 0810964945 / ISBN 13: 9780810964945
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Synopsis: Emperor Ch'ien-lung, who ruled China from 1736 to 1795, amassed an extensive collection of Chinese art which today forms the core of the holdings of the National Palace Museum, Taipei. Drawing on this rich resource, this work provides a history of imperial Chinese art and culture from the Neolithic period to 18th century. It reproduces some of the great monuments of Chinese culture: key works by leading calligraphers of the T'ang dynasty, life-size imperial portraits from the Sung to the Ming period, and some of the finest examples of imperial ceramics, textiles and other decorative arts from the Sung to the Ch'ing dynasty. The authors also offers a cultural and historical context for the art, focusing on both the evolution of Chinese civilization and the cultural dynamics of the country's history. The book accompanies a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum, New York (from March 1996), and subsequently in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC.

From Library Journal: To those fortunate enough to see an exhibition, a catalog can serve as a guide or souvenir. But to those at some remove in time or distance, the catalog often represents their only contact with the exhibit and must stand as a marker of the scholarship invested in it and a visual testament of the objects displayed. To deal with these differing and conflicting roles, the exhibition of imperial treasures from China currently touring this country has two catalogs of differing length and scope. After introducing each historical period, Splendors of Imperial China highlights 107 of the 475 artworks in the exhibition and gives a short analysis of the works. Smaller ceramic and bronze pieces are shown in full, as are some painted works, but many large scrolls are shown only in detail. These details lose the larger perspective vital to understanding such wall-spanning scrolls as Huai-su's "Autobiographical Essay," a purely calligraphic portrait that progresses from small, tight characters to marvelous looping, flying ones as the painter drinks more and more wine. Possessing the Past is the inclusive scholarly text illustrating all 475 artworks. Clearly intended to have lasting value and to present in-depth information on thousands of years of Chinese art history, it lacks some of the graphic verve of Splendors. Both volumes are slightly marred by some poorly reproduced images. Splendors of Imperial China will suit general readers seeking a visual introduction to classical Chinese art, while Possessing the Past will anchor academic art history collections.?David McClelland, formerly with Temple Univ., Philadelphia
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Title: Possessing the Past: Treasures from the ...
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Good

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FONG (Wen C.) James C. Y. Watt
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Book Description Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1996. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. A large, heavy volume, lavishly illustrated, beautifully done. This book would be in near-fine condition if it didn't have a bumped corner at the front top right corner, which also cause the first few pages to get lightly bumped at the corner as well. On the back cover, there are two very small pinpoint indentations in the jacket. Otherwise quite a nice, clean copy, with very light wear. Shipping in the USA is $3.95 Media Mail only. I prefer NOT to ship to international addresses for this heavy book--the cost would be VERY prohibitive (about $60 to $80 USdollars). Bookseller Inventory # 004648

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