Summer School: Chinese Art Books
If you are an art history student or simply an aficionado of Chinese art, there is no time like the present to brush up on the basics, particularly in the area of Chinese painting, where memorizing the rich history, artist names, and iconic scroll paintings is crucial for a more critical understanding. I personally always struggled with Chinese art, learning the names of artists in pinyin and characters was a challenge, so I found Laurie B. Whitman’s article on the top three educational books on Chinese Art in Art + Auction‘s “Required Reading” column of particular interest.
Here are her top picks, in suggested order:
- Maxwell K. Hearn is a curator of Chinese paintings at the MET and his no-nonsense How to Read Chinese Paintings (Yale University Press/the Metropolitan Museum of Art, $25) is an easy-to-follow, step-by-step approach to gain a working knowledge of the 36 iconic paintings and calligraphic works, illustrated in large format.
- The Last Emperor’s Collection: Masterpieces of Painting and Calligraphy from the Liaoning Provincial Museum (China Institute, $59), by the curators Willow Chang, Yang Renkai and David Sensabaugh, this exhibition catalogue takes Hearn’s book a step further, going into greater detail with 23 examples from the Ming and Qing dynasties.
- Art and China’s Revolution (Yale University Press/Asia Society, $65), by Asia Society director Melissa Chiu and the independent curator Zheng Shengtian is for those that want to increase their knowledge of contemporary Chinese art, spawned by Mao’s Cultural Revolution in the 1960’s.
Filed under: Asian Art, books, collecting, decoration, education, Uncategorized | 7 Comments
Tags: Art and China's Revolution, Asia Society, Chinese calligraphy, Chinese paintings, David Sensabaugh, how to read Chinese paintings, Maxwell K. Hearn, Melissa Chiu, The Last Emperor's Collection, Willow Chang, Yang Renkai, Zheng Shengtian