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Article

Margaret Medley

(b London, June 11, 1914; d Pembury, Kent, July 31, 1983).

English diplomat, collector and art historian. In 1947, as a member of the British Diplomatic Service, he was posted to Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, then the capital of the Nationalist Chinese government. He became interested in Chinese art and history and began a collection of porcelain, furniture and textiles at a time of political and economic uncertainty, when Chinese collectors were forced to sell. When he moved to the British embassy in Beijing in 1954 he continued his research into Chinese ceramic history with the help of specialists from the Palace Museum. In 1963 he became British ambassador to the Philippines and was largely responsible for organizing the Manila Trade Pottery Seminar (1968), to which he also contributed five of the nine discussion monographs. From 1972 to 1974, as British ambassador to China, he played an important part in promoting the Chinese archaeological exhibition The Genius of China, held in London at the Royal Academy in ...

Article

Christophe Spaenjers

Set of financial methods, instruments, and business models that are used in the Art market. Important developments since the 1960s include the spreading availability and use of art price information and price indexes (see Art index), the emergence of loans collateralized by artworks, repeated efforts to create art investment structures, and a strong growth in art market advisory services provided by wealth managers and new entrepreneurs (see also Investment).

The first major development has been the spread of art price information and art price indexes over the last half-century. After a few difficult decades, art price levels and public interest in the art market were going up again in the 1950s and 1960s. A number of books on the history of the art market and on art investment that were published around that time—Le Vie Etrange des Objets (1959) by Maurice Rheims, Art as an Investment...

Article

Ken Brown and Karen L. Brock

Shogunal dynasty that ruled Japan during the Muromachi period (1333–1568). According to the anonymous Taiheiki (‘Chronicle of great peace’; ?1370–71), Ashikaga, the name of a town in Shimotsuke Province (now Tochigi Prefect.), was taken as a family name by a branch of the military Minamoto family. The Ashikaga came to power when the first Ashikaga shogun, Takauji (1305–58), overthrew the Hōjō regents in Kamakura and installed the ambitious Emperor GoDaigo (reg 1318–39) in Kyoto. When GoDaigo refused to name Takauji as shogun, the latter deposed him and replaced him by his own candidate. GoDaigo fled to Yoshino (Nara Prefect.), where he set up a rival court. The schism continued during the early Muromachi period, which is also known as the Nanbokuchō (‘Northern and Southern Courts’; 1336–92) period. Takauji and his son, the second shogun Ashikaga Yoshiakira (1330–67), paid respect to the old aristocracy in Kyoto, but the third shogun, ...

Article

Matico Josephson

American multi-ethnic arts organization based in New York’s Chinatown. The Asian American Arts Centre (AAAC) and its predecessors, the Asian American Dance Theatre (1974–93) and the Asian Arts Institute (1981–8), emerged from the milieu of the Basement Workshop, the first working group of the Asian American Movement on the East Coast, whose mouthpiece was the journal Bridge (1970–81). After the closing of the Basement Workshop in 1987, the Dance Theatre and the Asian Arts Institute were consolidated as the AAAC.

Directed by Eleanor S. Yung, the Dance Theatre was at the core of the organization’s activities from the 1970s through the early 1990s, performing traditional dances from several Asian cultures alongside modern and postmodern forms. In the early 1980s, the Asian Arts Institute began to hold exhibitions and collect slides of artists’ work and documentation of their activities, working primarily with artists involved in the downtown art scene. Early programs included open studio events for artists working in Chinatown and exhibitions of the work of Arlan Huang (...

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(Noel)

(b London, Dec 25, 1881; d Wendover, Bucks, Feb 28, 1968).

English civil servant and collector of Islamic and Chinese art. The eldest son of Sir Thomas Barlow, royal physician and president of the Royal College of Physicians, he was educated at Marlborough and Corpus Christi College, Oxford. In 1906 he was appointed to a clerkship in the House of Commons, by 1933 he was principal private secretary to the Prime Minister Ramsay MacDonald, and from 1934 to 1948 he served at the Treasury. He began collecting Oriental ceramics in 1900 and started acquiring Islamic pottery five years later, amassing a comprehensive collection with a special emphasis on Ottoman and Iranian items within 20 years. He built up his collection of Chinese art in the early 1920s, when several British collectors led by George Eumorfopoulos acquired objects excavated in China. Barlow preferred early austere Chinese pottery with little polychrome decoration. During the 1920s and 1930s he also continued to acquire Islamic items, and some of his pieces were shown in ...

Article

Bi Long  

Chinese, 18th century, male.

Active during the reign of the Qing Emperor Qianlong (1736-1796).

Born in Taicang (Jiangsu).

Painter.

Bi Long was a painter of bamboos and landscapes and a disciple of Cao Zhibo. He was also a poet and a famous collector of calligraphy and paintings....

Article

Gabriel P. Weisberg

(b Hamburg, Feb 26, 1838; d Vaucresson, nr Paris, Sept 6, 1905).

French art dealer, critic and patron, of German birth. Often misnamed Samuel, he was a major promoter of Japanese art and Art Nouveau. From a wealthy, entrepreneurial Hamburg family, he trained as an industrial decorator for ceramics under the guidance of his father and independently in Paris during the Second Empire (1852–70). After the Franco-Prussian War (which he spent in Belgium) Bing established a thriving Oriental trading business, primarily of Japanese arts, the success of which permitted the opening of his Oriental crafts shop in Paris in the late 1870s. Following a trip to Japan, he expanded the business in the 1880s, selling both contemporary and ancient Japanese objects, to meet the demand for Oriental merchandise. At the end of the 1880s, as Japonisme developed, Bing founded a monthly periodical, Le Japon artistique (pubd simultaneously in Eng., Fr. and Ger., 1888–91), and organized a series of exhibitions of rare Japanese art, featuring ceramics and ...

Article

Carol Michaelson

[Ch’en]

Chinese dynasty that ruled in southern China between ad 557 and 589. It was the last of the so-called Six Dynasties (222–589), who were the ‘legitimate’ successors to the Han dynasty (206 bcad 220) and made Jiankang (now Nanjing) their capital.

In 557 Chen Baxian (later Emperor Wudi; reg 557–9) deposed the Liang (502–57) emperor and established the Chen dynasty. The government attempted to resuscitate the economy but the area under its rule was the smallest of the southern dynasties, with fewer territories than its predecessors and a northern border reaching only to the southern bank of the Yangzi River. The Chen government was strong enough initially to resist incursions by the Northern Qi (550–77) and Northern Zhou (557–81) but was not in a position to take advantage of the divisions in the north.

Jiankang continued to be a cultural and political centre to which merchants and Buddhist missionaries came from South-east Asia and India, and it became one of the world’s greatest cities. The capital was also a major Buddhist centre; several Buddhist temples, many of them caves or niches, had been constructed in the preceding Liang period. To the north-east of the city lay an imperial burial ground, notable for its carved tomb guardians in the form of chimeras (...

Article

Chikuto  

Japanese, 18th – 19th century, male.

Born 1776; died 1853.

Painter. Landscapes, animals.

Nanga (literati) school.

Chikuto was the son of a doctor in Nagoya. At the age of 15, he became the protégé of the rich businessman and collector Kamiya Ten’yu, who was also from Nagoya and through whom he met many artists and studied Chinese pictorial techniques. It was through Tenyu that Chikuto made the acquaintance of the painter Yamamoto Baiitsu (...

Article

Junghee Lee

[Yi]

Korean dynasty that ruled the Korean peninsula from 1392 to 1910. The founder of the dynasty, Yi Sŏng-gye, posthumously known as King T’aejo (reg 1392–8), established Neo-Confucianism as the official ideology, encouraging a modest and practical lifestyle. Thus the patronage of extravagant art was discouraged, and the status of the artist was reduced. Buddhism was often zealously suppressed but remained the private religion of the palace women, the common people and even some kings. T’aejo, for example, built Sŏgwang Temple in north-eastern Korea, the area of his origin; King Sejo (reg 1455–68) built the marble pagoda of the Wŏngak Temple in Seoul in 1466; and the Dowager Queen Munjŏng patronized painters (see Korea, §IV, 2, (i), (d)) and supported temple constructions during the reign of King Myŏngjong (reg 1545–67).

With the establishment of the capital at Hanyang (now Seoul), T’aejo built the Kyŏngbok and Ch’angdŏk palaces and city walls in ...