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Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies pres.

LRCCS Noon Lecture Series | Prizes of the "Great Upheaval": The International Politics and Business of Chinese Art During World War I

Ian Shin, Assistant Professor of History and American Culture, University of Michigan

Among the many legacies of World War I (1914–1918) was the rise of the United States as a cultural superpower as seen in the international race to collect and study Chinese art in the early 20th century. The war disrupted many of the institutions that Europeans had built and the social networks they had cultivated over the previous century. Drawing on sources from across both the Atlantic and the Pacific, this talk shows how American collectors and curators took advantage of openings to make uncontested acquisitions and to launch new scholarly projects. Their successes depended in turn on art dealers in China, who saw and seized their own opportunities to build thriving international businesses in the midst of the Great War.

Ian Shin is Assistant Professor of History and American Culture at the University of Michigan, where his teaching and research focus on the history of the U.S. in the world and Asian American history between 1850 and 1950. He is currently completing a book manuscript entitled “Imperfect Knowledge: Chinese Art and American Power in the Transpacific Progressive Era,” which examines the geopolitics of Chinese art collecting and scholarship in the United States at the turn of the twentieth century. His publications have appeared in the Journal of American-East Asian Relations and the Connecticut History Review. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia University.

If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation to attend this event, please reach out to us at least 2 weeks in advance of this event. Please be aware that advance notice is necessary as some accommodations may require more time for the university to arrange.

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