The Lives of Chinese Objects: Buddhism, Imperialism and Display (Museums and Collections 3)

The Lives of Chinese Objects: Buddhism, Imperialism and Display (Museums and Collections 3)

By: Louise Tythacott (author)Paperback

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The Lives of Chinese Objectsis a fascinating book. It is the result of excellent historical research as well as curatorial expertise. The reader is taken on an amazing journey starting with the startling discovery of the image of five Chinese bronzes on display as part of the Great Exhibition in 1851...The stories uncovered are riveting, a mix of curatorial detail and description, historical research and theoretical analysis. This book is beautifully written - clear, detailed and informative. The author is ever present in the text and the book is as much a story of her journey, as it is a story of the lives of the 'Putuo Five'. I just wanted to keep reading." * Suzanne MacLeod, University of Leicester This is the biography of a set of rare Buddhist statues from China. Their extraordinary adventures take them from the Buddhist temples of fifteenth-century Putuo - China's most important pilgrimage island - to their seizure by a British soldier in the First Opium War in the early 1840s, and on to a starring role in the Great Exhibition of 1851. In the 1850s, they moved in and out of dealers' and antiquarian collections, arriving in 1867 at Liverpool Museum. Here they were re-conceptualized as specimens of the 'Mongolian race' and, later, as examples of Oriental art. The statues escaped the bombing of the Museum during the Second World War and lived out their existence for the next sixty years, dismembered, corroding and neglected in the stores, their histories lost and origins unknown. As the curator of Asian collections at Liverpool Museum, the author became fascinated by these bronzes, and selected them for display in the Buddhism section of the World Cultures gallery. In 2005, quite by chance, the discovery of a lithograph of the figures on prominent display in the Great Exhibition enabled the remarkable lives of these statues to be reconstructed.

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About Author

Louise Tythacott is a Lecturer in Museology at the University of Manchester. She has worked in the museum sector for over a decade, latterly as the Head of Ethnology at the National Museums Liverpool (1996-2003), where she curated the Asia section of the World Cultures Gallery, which opened in 2005.


List of illustrations Preface Acknowledgments Introduction Research and Serendipity Objects, Meanings, Biographies Objects and the Museum Chapter 1. Sacred Beings in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties Construction: Births, Iconographies and Consecrations Location: the Island and the Temple Reception: Pilgrims, Lay Worshippers and Monks Chapter 2. Trophies of War, 1844-1852 China and the World Outside Edie's War: Disease, Death and the Deity of Compassion Edie's Objects: the Significance of Things From Public to Private, Sacred to Profane Chapter 3. Articles of Industry: the Great Exhibition of 1851 Articles of Imperial Ideology China's Refusal China at the Great Exhibition Late Arrivals: Exhibiting Edie's Collection Pilgrimage and Ritual at the Temple of Industry China at the Crystal Palace in Sydenham Chapter 4. Curiosities, Antiquities, Art Treasure, Commodities: 1854-1867 In the Cabinet of Gems: Objects of Bram Hertz, 1854-1856 Art Treasure: May to October 1857 Commodities: Sotheby's, 31 May 1854 and 24 February 1859 Objects of Joseph Mayer: Antiquities and Curiosities, 1856-1867 Chapter 5. Specimens of Ethnology and Race: Liverpool Museum, 1867-1929 From Private to Public Objects in the Museum At the Back of the Walker Art Gallery and in Gatty's Catalogue: 1882 Objects of the 'Mongolian' Race: 1894-1929 Chapter 6. Objects of Art, Archaeology and Oriental Antiquity: Liverpool Museum, 1929-1996 Chinese Objects as 'Art' Objects in War and Store: 'An Exhibition of Official Neglect' Objects of Archaeology: 1940-1966 Objects of Antiquity: 1966-1996 Guanyin Rediscovered: Objects of Chinese Metalwork and Connoisseurship, 1970s-1990s Chapter 7. Objects of Curation and Conservation, 1996-2005 New Identities Objects of Conservation Objects of 'Contact' and 'Encounter'Future Lives: Liverpool or China On Objects Future Lives: Liverpool or China Objects in Liverpool Objects in China Postscript: Confessions of a Former Curator Bibliography Index

Product Details

  • publication date: 01/07/2011
  • ISBN13: 9780857452382
  • Format: Paperback, Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 288
  • ID: 9780857452382
  • weight: 555
  • ISBN10: 085745238X

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