The Odyssey of China's Imperial Art Treasures by Jeannette Shambaugh ElliotThe Odyssey of China's Imperial Art Treasures by Jeannette Shambaugh Elliot

The Odyssey of China's Imperial Art Treasures

byJeannette Shambaugh Elliot, David Shambaugh

Paperback | February 5, 2007

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The Odyssey of China's Imperial Art Treasures traces the three-thousand-year history of the emperor's imperial collection, from the Bronze Age to the present. The tortuous story of these treasures involves a succession of dynasties, invasion and conquest, and civil war, resulting in valiant attempts to rescue and preserve the collection. Throughout history, different Chinese regimes used the imperial collection to bolster their own political legitimacy, domestically and internationally.

The narrative follows the gradual formation of the Peking Palace Museum in 1925, then its hasty fragmentation as large parts of the collection were moved perilously over long distances to escape wartime destruction, and finally its formal division into what are today two Palace Museums-one in Beijing, the other in Taipei.

Enlivened by the personalities of those who cared for the collection, this textured account of the imperial treasures highlights magnificent artworks and their arduous transit through politics, war, and diplomatic reconciliations. Over the years, control of the collections has been fiercely contested, from early dynasties through Mongol and Japanese invaders to Nationalist and Communist rivals- a saga that continues today.

This first book-length investigation of the imperial collections will be of great interest to China scholars, historians, and Chinese art specialists. Its tales of palace intrigue will fascinate a wide variety of readers.

Jeannette Shambaugh Elliott (1912-96) was a Sinologist and art collector. David Shambaugh is professor and director of the China Policy Program in the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University. He is the former editor of The China Quarterly and a preeminent analyst of contemporary Chinese affairs, with...
Title:The Odyssey of China's Imperial Art TreasuresFormat:PaperbackDimensions:178 pages, 9.25 × 6.16 × 0.48 inPublished:February 5, 2007Publisher:University Of Washington PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295986883

ISBN - 13:9780295986883

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Table of Contents

Foreword: The Saga of China's Imperial Collections, by Thomas Lawton

Prologue

1. China's Imperial Art Treasures from Early Times to the Twelfth Century 2. Imperial Treasures under the Ming and Qing Dynasties3. From Private to Public Treasures: The Early Republican Era, 1911-19304. The Treasures through Times of War, 1931-1947 5. Relocating and Rebuilding the Palace Museum on Taiwan 6. The Gugong in Beijing: National Treasure and Political Object 7. Epilogue: The Politics of China's Imperial Art

NotesBibliography Index

Editorial Reviews

The Odyssey of China's Imperial Art Treasures traces the three-thousand-year history of the emperor's imperial collection, from the Bronze Age to the present. The tortuous story of these treasures involves a succession of dynasties, invasion and conquest, and civil war, resulting in valiant attempts to rescue and preserve the collection. Throughout history, different Chinese regimes used the imperial collection to bolster their own political legitimacy, domestically and internationally.The narrative follows the gradual formation of the Peking Palace Museum in 1925, then its hasty fragmentation as large parts of the collection were moved perilously over long distances to escape wartime destruction, and finally its formal division into what are today two Palace Museums-one in Beijing, the other in Taipei.Enlivened by the personalities of those who cared for the collection, this textured account of the imperial treasures highlights magnificent artworks and their arduous transit through politics, war, and diplomatic reconciliations. Over the years, control of the collections has been fiercely contested, from early dynasties through Mongol and Japanese invaders to Nationalist and Communist rivals- a saga that continues today.This first book-length investigation of the imperial collections will be of great interest to China scholars, historians, and Chinese art specialists. Its tales of palace intrigue will fascinate a wide variety of readers.The first book-length study of the history of imperial collecting, this accessible account illuminates the vital role of the fine arts in China's political identity. The narrative of the transformation of the imperial palace and its furnishings into two great museums will fascinate both specialists and general readers. - Alfreda Murck, author of Poetry and Painting in Song China