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THE CHINA COLLECTORS: AMERICA'S CENTURY-LONG HUNT FOR ASIAN ART TREASURES. Karl E. Meyer and Shareen Blair Brysac. Palgrave Macmillan, St. Martin's Press, Inc., New York, 2015. 440 pp. with 74 ills. (17 col.). 25 x 16 cm. LC 2014-31029 ISBN 9781137279767 In English.
Publisher's description: The untold and fascinating history of the unlikely artistic encounters between the US and China, the youngest and oldest of major powers. Thanks to Salem sea captains, Gilded Age millionaires, curators on horseback and missionaries gone native, North American museums now possess the greatest collections of Chinese art outside of East Asia itself. How did it happen? This is the first full account of a century-long treasure hunt in China from the Opium Wars and the Boxer Rebellion to Mao Zedong's 1949 ascent. The principal gatherers are mostly little known and defy invention. They included "foreign devils" who braved desert sandstorms, bandits and local warlords in acquiring significant works. Adventurous curators like Langdon Warner, a forebear of Indiana Jones, argued that the caves of Dunhuang were already threatened by vandals, thereby justifying the removal of frescoes and sculptures. Other Americans include George Kates, an alumnus of Harvard, Oxford and Hollywood, who fell in love with Ming furniture. The Chinese were divided between dealers who profited from the artworks' removal, and scholars who sought to protect their country's patrimony.
Indexing: Non-Western (Traditional/Native Arts), Asia (Traditional) — China — Several Media
Plans: 73
Worldwide Number: 165341
Hardcover $30.00x (libraries receive a 10% discount on this title)    

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