Nataly Shahaf G'18
Henry Luce Foundation/ACLS Program in China Studies Pre-dissertation Grants for Research in China 2018
East Asian Languages and Cultures
The Making of Art Society in Early Twentieth-Century China
I focus on the development of art culture for the masses during the political transition from the Qing empire to the Republican state. I look at art societies that became seminal cultural institutions in China at the turn of the 20th century. Growing to encompass schools, publishing houses, research institutions, venues for trading art, and political activity, art societies came to be seen as indispensable to cultural and social mobility and the remaking of a new Republican Chinese identity both in China and overseas. Reading privately produced archives, such as biji and reproduction prints of art, I explore how changing ideas about art led artists, collectors, publishers, traders, educators, and officials to preserve, reproduce, display, and teach art in new ways and towards new ends.