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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

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

Ju-Hsi Chou

[Kao Feng-han; hao Nanfu Shanren]

(b Jiaozhou (modern Jiao xian), Shandong Province, 1683; d ?Shandong Province, 1748–9).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, seal-carver, collector and poet. The son of a minor official in charge of local education, Gao developed an interest in poetry, painting and seal-carving in his early youth, when he also began to collect old seals and inkstones. The great poet Wang Shizhen took a liking to him and left instructions before his death that Gao be admitted into the ranks of his disciples. A relative of the poet, Wang Qilei, also provided Gao with some formal instruction in the art of painting, beyond what he could learn from his father, an amateur painter of orchids and bamboo. Gao’s official career did not begin until 1729, when he took up an appointment as assistant magistrate of She xian, Anhui Province. In 1734 a new assignment took him to Taizhou, east of Yangzhou, Jiangsu Province. In 1736, having become entangled in a legal dispute involving a chief commissioner of the salt gabelle, he was briefly imprisoned; this and his deteriorating health, which resulted in the paralysis of his right hand, inevitably led to his resignation from officialdom....

Article

Nancy E. Green

[Tei shin; Kanō Yeitan Masanobu]

(b Salem, MA, Feb 18, 1853; d London, Sept 21, 1908).

American curator, scholar, collector, and educator. Fenollosa played a unique role in enhancing the appreciation of Japanese art in both its native country and within the USA. Educated at Harvard, after graduation he studied philosophy and divinity at Cambridge University, followed by a year at the newly founded art school at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He also formed important friendships with the collectors Edward Sylvester Morse, Charles Goddard Weld (1857–1911), and William Sturgis Bigelow (1850–1926).

In 1878, with an introduction from Morse, Fenollosa travelled to Japan for the first time, accompanied by his new wife, Lizzie Goodhue Millett, to teach political economy and philosophy at Tokyo’s Imperial University. Embracing Japanese art and culture, he became an active advocate for preserving the country’s art treasures and, with the Japanese artists Kanō Hōgai (see Kanō family §(16)) and Hashimoto Gahō, helped to revive the ...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

[ Yeh Kung-ch’uo ; zi Yufu, Yuhu ; hao Xiaan, Juyuan ]

(b Panyu, Guangdong Province, 1881; d 1968).

Chinese calligrapher, painter, archaeologist, collector, poet and government official. He was born into a wealthy, scholarly family, received a classical education and as a youth of 16 founded a school in Guangzhou (Canton) and a publishing company in Shanghai; at 17 he enrolled in law school at the Imperial University in Beijing. His studies were interrupted two years later by the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, whereupon Ye moved to Wuchang, Hubei Province, and taught history, geography and modern languages for four years. In 1906 he began his official career as a specialist in railways and communications. After 1911, Ye held various positions in the Republican government and was instrumental in the establishment of Jiaotong University in Shanghai; he also served as director of classics for several years at Peking [Beijing] University. After the Sino-Japanese War (1937–45), he gave up his government career and devoted himself to the arts and research, although he continued to serve on educational and cultural committees for the rest of his life. In particular, he became involved in the committee to organize the simplification of Chinese characters. In ...

Article

GoToba  

Nicole Fabricand-Person

(b Heiankyō [now Kyoto], 1180; reg 1183–98; d Naka no shima, Oki Islands [now in Shimane Prefect.], 1239).

Emperor of Japan during the Kamakura period (1185–1333), patron, scholar and poet. The dual-polity government that prevailed in Japan just before GoToba’s reign in the late 12th century rested uneasily on a complex political relationship between the shogunate (bakufu) under the Hōjō family in the eastern capital of Kamakura and the emperor in the capital at Heian (now Kyoto). At the age of 18 GoToba ceded the throne to his son, and during his ascendancy as the ‘abdicated’ or ‘cloistered’ emperor (in) he sought to challenge Kamakura authority. In 1221 he declared war on the Hōjō; this action was known as the Jōkyū Disturbance (Jōkyū no Ran). Within a month, however, GoToba’s armies were easily defeated by bakufu forces, and he and his followers were immediately exiled from the capital; GoToba spent the rest of his life on the Oki Islands in the Sea of Japan. Ironically the outcome was that even more political power accrued to the Hōjō. Despite the waning political authority of the court during his life, however, GoToba and other members of the aristocracy continued to be the arbiters of cultural taste....

Article

S. J. Vernoit

(b 1879; d Sept 20, 1967).

Swedish collector and art historian. After graduating as a civil engineer in 1904 from the Royal College of Engineering in Stockholm, he travelled to China in 1906, where he worked first as a superintendent of reinforced concrete construction and then, from 1908, as a section engineer for the Tientsin–Pukow (Tianjin–Pukou) Railway Company. As objects of art were frequently discovered during the construction of railways, Karlbeck soon became interested in Chinese archaeology and art and formed an important collection of early Chinese bronzes. When the Swedish Crown Prince, later King Gustav VI Adolf, who was himself a collector and connoisseur of Chinese art, visited Pukow in 1926, he was greatly impressed by the collection, which was purchased and brought to Sweden. This began Karlbeck’s new career as a buyer of Chinese art for museums and private collectors. In 1927 he gave up his railway work because of political disturbances in China and returned to Sweden. The following year, however, he returned to China to acquire Chinese art objects. The visit was so successful that he made a further three journeys to China on behalf of museums and private collectors. The objects he acquired included a large number of bronzes of the Shang (...

Article

Tadashi Kobayashi

[Sansai]

(b Osaka, 1736; d Osaka, 1802). Japanese collector, scholar, poet, painter and calligrapher. As a boy he undertook the study of medicinal herbs at the apothecary’s shop owned by his father and other relatives. According to tradition he began to have an interest in art when he was about five or six and studied with the Kanō-school master Ōoka Shunboku. He also learnt bird-and-flower painting (kachōga) under Kakutei, a Zen priest from Nagasaki. He first met the literati painter Ike Taiga (see Ike family §(1)) when he was 15, and became his pupil. Taiga’s influence is evident in his Bunjinga (literati painting; see Japan §VI 4., (vi), (d)) and also in his calligraphy, in which he excelled. Kenkadō also studied seal-carving with Kō Fuyō, a friend of Taiga, and poetry with Katayama Hokkai. He became one of the most erudite and well-known literati in the region. By profession he was a sake brewer and amassed a fortune, which, however, he forfeited when he incurred the wrath of the authorities. He collected a vast range of objects including calligraphy, old writings and paintings, maps, ceramics, utensils for the ...

Article

Celia Carrington Riely

revised by Katharine Burnett

[Tung Ch’i-ch’ang; zi Xuanzai; hao Sibo, Siweng, Xiangguang, Xiangguang jushi; Wenmin]

(b Shanghai, Feb 10, 1555; d Dec 1636).

Chinese painter, calligrapher, connoisseur, theoretician, collector, and high official.

At the age of 12 Dong Qichang, the son of a local school teacher, passed the prefectural civil-service examination to qualify as a Government Student (shengyuan) and was awarded a coveted place in the prefectural school. Mortified, however, at being ranked below his younger kinsman Dong Chuanxu because of his clumsy calligraphy, from 1571 Dong resolved to study calligraphy in earnest. His initial models were rubbings of works by the Tang-period (618–907 ce) calligraphers Yan Zhenqing and Yu Shinan (558–638), but soon realizing the superior merits of the Six Dynasties (222–589 ce) calligraphers, he turned to the works of Zhong You (151–230 ce) and the great Wang Xizhi (see Wang family (i), (1)). After three years he was confident of having grasped their style, and no longer admired works by the Ming-period (...

Article

Saga  

Samuel C. Morse

(b ad 786; reg 809–23; d 842).

Japanese emperor, poet, calligrapher and patron of the Shingon sect of Esoteric Buddhism. Along with Kūkai and Tachibana no Hayanari, he is regarded as one of the Sanpitsu (Three Brushes; master calligraphers) of the Heian period (ad 794–1185) (see Japan §VII 2., (ii)). He was the second son of Emperor Kanmu (reg 781–806), who founded the capital Heian (now Kyoto) in 794, and Empress Otomuro (ad 760–90). In 809 he succeeded his half-brother, Emperor Heizei (reg 806–9), to the throne as the 52nd emperor of Japan, and although he abdicated in 823, Saga remained the most powerful figure at court until his death. Politically the most significant event of his career occurred in 810 when Heizei attempted to return the centre of government to the old capital of Heijō (now Nara). Saga and his allies quickly crushed the rebellion, thereby assuring a pre-eminent cultural role for Kyoto in subsequent Japanese history. Saga had a deep passion for Chinese culture. He actively promoted the use of Chinese modes of dress and the adoption of Chinese nomenclature for the various structures of the imperial palace. He wrote accomplished poetry in Chinese and was responsible for the compilation of two imperial anthologies, the ...

Article

Laura Rivkin

[Wang Shih-chen; zi Yuanmei; hao Fengzhou, Yanzhou Shanren]

(b Taicang, near Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, 1526; d Taicang, 1590).

Chinese art patron, literary critic, poet and scholar–official. Born into a wealthy, aristocratic family, Wang passed the national civil-service examinations to gain the title of jinshi at the early age of 21. He spent most of his life in public service, retiring temporarily from 1560 to 1567 after his father was tried and executed at the instigation of Grand Secretary Yan Song (the feud between the families was the subject of great contemporary interest and notoriety), and again from 1570 to 1574 after his mother died. From then on he remained more or less on active duty almost until his death.

Wang is best known for his patronage of painters, but in his own day he was most celebrated for his literary achievements. He became an influential member of the guwen movement, which advocated a revival of the Qin (221–206 bc) and Han (206 bcad 220...

Article

Laura Rivkin

[ Yen Sung ]

(b Fenyi, Jiangxi Province, 1480; d 1565). Chinese government official, collector and poet. He came from an artisan family and passed the civil-service examination in 1505 to gain his jinshi degree. He subsequently held a variety of public posts before being appointed a Grand Secretary in 1542 and becoming a favourite of the Jiajing emperor (reg 1522–66). After intense political manoeuvring he became the chief Grand Secretary in 1548 and remained in that position until 1562, when he and his son Yan Shifan were dismissed from their posts and degraded to the status of commoner.

After his dismissal, an inventory of Yan’s possessions from his various properties was compiled and published by Zhou Shilin in the Tian shui bingshan lu (‘Record of heaven reducing the ice mountain to water’); this included estimates of the market value of the items. An abbreviated version, the Qian shan tang shuhua ji...

Article

Robert E. Harrist jr

[T’ai-tsung] [Li Shimin]

(b ad 600; reg 626–49; d 649). Chinese emperor, patron and art collector. He was the second emperor of the Tang dynasty (ad 618–907), not to be confused with Emperor Taizong (reg 976–97) of the Song period (960–1279). He staged a coup d’état to gain power, assassinating his elder brother, the rightful heir, and forcing his father, Emperor Gaozu (reg 618–26), to retire. Taizong’s reign was marked by superb civil and military administration, a strong economy and an expansion of Chinese power and prestige across Asia, into Mongolia, Turkestan and elsewhere. Later historians considered Taizong a model Confucian ruler who, at least during the early years of his reign, was unusually open to advice from the brilliant ministers he assembled at his court.

From his youth, Taizong had a deep interest in calligraphy and was himself an accomplished calligrapher, as well as the author of several treatises on calligraphy. His passion for this art form was most evident, however, in his career as a collector and patron. By the early 630s Taizong had amassed a collection of ...

Article

Michelle Yun

[ Huei-Zu ]

(b Taipei, Taiwan, 1961; d New York, NY, Feb 8, 1997).

Taiwanese curator and art historian. Yang immigrated to the United States at age 15. She received a BA in Art History from Yale University in 1984 that included a six-month sabbatical to Jinan University in Guangzhou to study Chinese in 1982. Yang was exposed to art from a young age through her mother, Suhwa Chou Yang, who ran the Hunglin Art Gallery in Taipei in the 1970s. Upon graduation Yang held internships at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art , both in New York, before accepting a position as Assistant Curator at the New Museum, New York, in 1988. Notable exhibitions she curated during her time at the New Museum include 1+1+1: Works by Alfredo Jaar (1992); Skin Deep (1993); and The Final Frontier (1993). She left the New Museum in 1993 to work as an independent curator and critic while studying to earn a PhD from the Institute of Fine Arts of New York University. In early ...

Article

Chinese, 15th century, male.

Born 1423, in Jiashan, now Ningbo (Zhejiang); died 1495.

Painter, calligrapher, poet.

Yao Shou was the son of Yao Fu, a collector of calligraphy and paintings. He passed the national triennial examinations with the grade jinshi (accepted scholar) in the reign of Emperor Tanshun (...

Article

Yi Sŏng-mi

[cha Ch-ŏngji ; ho Pihaedang , Maejuk-hŏn , Nanggan-kŏsa ]

(b 1418; d 1453).

Korean calligrapher, painter, poet and collector . Also known as Prince Anp’yŏng, he was the third son of King Sejong . His talents in poetry, painting and calligraphy earned him the title of ‘three excellences’. He sponsored many gatherings of scholars, poets and artists in his studio and became the major patron of An Kyŏn , who painted the famous Dream Visit to the Peach Blossom Land (1447; Tenri, Cent. Lib.) based on a dream that Yi Yŏng had related to him. Prince Anp’yŏng’s collection of Korean and Chinese paintings must have served as inspiration for many contemporary painters. Its contents are known thanks to the Hwagi (‘Notes on painting’) section of the statesman Sin Suk-ju’s Pohanjae chip (‘Collected writings of Pohanjae [Sin Suk-ju]’). This is a valuable record, unique in that no other catalogue of painting collections of the Chosŏn period is known. The Hwagi lists 189 paintings and 33 items of calligraphy, mainly by Chinese painters and calligraphers of the Song (...

Article

Chinese, 9th century, male.

Born c. 810; died c. 880.

Art critic, art historian, collector.

The scion of an illustrious line of officials, Zhang Yanyuan probably took his first steps as an art historian in his family’s own rich collections. He wrote a monumental work of art history, the ...

Article

Elizabeth F. Bennett

[Lo Chen-yü; zi Xuetang; hao Chensuntang]

(b Huaian, Jiangsu Province, Aug 3, 1866; d Lüshun, Liaoning Province, June 19, 1940).

Chinese writer, collector and calligrapher. He is particularly well known for his studies of oracle bone script (jiagu wen), the earliest Chinese writing, so called because it was found on animal bones and shells used for divination (see China, People’s Republic of §IV 2., (i), (a)). Luo’s friend Wang Yirong (1845–1900) and Liu E (1857–1909) were the first to collect the bones, which they discovered and rescued from pharmacists, who ground them up for medical prescriptions. The importance of oracle bones for early Chinese history was more widely recognized in 1899 after large quantities of them were unearthed at the Yinxu site in Anyang, Henan Province. Sun Yirang (1848–1908), Wang Guowei (1867–1927) and Luo investigated the texts on the oracle bones, and Luo dated them to the latter part of the Shang period (c. 1600–c. 1050...

Article

Kim Hongnam

[Chou Liang-kung]

(b Nanjing, 1612; d 1672). Chinese patron, collector and writer. Zhou’s devotion to the art of his own time rather than to that of the past was unique in traditional China. His huge collection of contemporary paintings was unrivalled in his day, and his extensive influence within the art world led artists to seek his endorsement. His book Duhua lu (‘Record of researches into painting’; c. 1673), also known as Du hua lou hua ren zhuan (‘Biographies of painters from researches into painting’), a collection of biographical notes on 77 painters, became and has remained the authoritative source on 17th-century Chinese painters. Also well known is Zhou’s 18-leaf collective album with facing inscriptions (Taipei, N. Pal. Mus.), which groups together the works of various contemporary artists.

Zhou was a man of classical culture and taste. In his aesthetic outlook he maintained a view typical of the Chinese literati (Chin. ...