Nov 20, 2009

Chinese Decorative Arts References

Because I get so many questions about later Chinese decorative arts I have prepared this short list of references to help interested persons begin to do some research on the subject themselves.

Recommended Bookseller for titles listed below:
Paragon  Book Gallery, Chicago

Some Useful Websites:

Victoria and Albert Museum, London, has extensive bibliographies online.

Understanding China website--features bibliographies and resources for the study of Chinese art and culture. 

Two sites for Chinese porcelains every collector should know:
Antique Chinese and Japanese Porcelain Collector's Help and Info Page

Chinese Porcelain of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, the private collection of JP O'Brien, with much useful info on forgeries 

References and Suggested Readings for Chinese Decorative Arts:
Arts of Asia. Hong Kong: Arts of Asia Publications, bimonthly journal.

Ayers, John. Chinese Ceramics: the Baur Collections (4 vols.). Genève, Collections Baur,1972-1974.

Brown, Claudia and Donald Rabiner. The Robert H. Clague Collection: Chinese Glass of the Qing Dynasty, 1644-1911. Phoenix: Phoenix Art Museum, 1987.

Brown, Claudia and Donald Rabiner. Clear as Crystal, Red as Flame: Later Chinese Glass. New York: China House Gallery, 1990.

Chinese University of Hong Kong, ed. Elegance and Radiance: Grandeur in Qing Glass. Hong Kong, 2000.

Clunas, Craig. Art in China. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Clunas, Craig. Chinese Carving. London, Victoria & Albert Museum, 1996.

Clunas, Craig, ed. Chinese Export Art and Design. London, Victoria &Albert Museum, l987.

Eberhard, Wolfram. A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols: Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986.

He, Li. Chinese Ceramics: A New Comprehensive Survey from the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. New York: Rizzoli, 1996.

Hutt, Julia. Understanding Far Eastern Art: A Complete Guide to the Arts of China, Japan and Korea: Ceramics, Sculpture, Painting, Prints, Lacquer, Textiles and Metalwork. Oxford: Phaidon, 1987 (especially useful for non-specialists)

Kerr, Rose, ed. Chinese Art and Design - the T.T. Tsui Gallery of Chinese Art. London, Victoria &Albert Museum, 1991.

Kerr, Rose. Chinese Ceramics: Porcelain of the Qing Dynasty. London, Victoria & Albert Museum, 1986.

Orientations. Hong Kong: Pacific Communications, monthly journal.

Rawson, Jessica, ed. The British Museum Book of Chinese Art. London, British Museum Press, 1992.

Rawson, Jessica. Chinese Jade from the Neolithic to the Qing. London, 1995.

Wilson, Ming. Chinese Jades. London: Victoria and Albert Museum Publications, 2004.

North American Museums with Significant Chinese and Japanese Art Collections

Regional antique stores and estate sales are often full of Asian antiques, especially later Chinese and Japanese decorative arts made for export in the later 19th and early 20th century but their quality varies considerably. The best way to learn to identify quality is to see fine pieces in person. This list contains names of many, but not all, North American museums that collect and regularly display Asian arts. The largest and most comprehensive are marked with an astirisk (*)

*Art Institute of Chicago
*Asia Society, NY (Rockefeller collection & special loan exhibitions)
*Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, AL
Brooklyn Museum of Art
China Institute Gallery, NY (traveling exhibitions only, no permanent collection)
Cincinnati Museum of Art
*Clark Center for Japanese Art and Culture, Hanford, CA
*Cleveland Museum of Art
*Denver Art Museum
*Honolulu Academy of Arts
*Japan Society Gallery, NY (traveling exhibitions only, no permanent collection)
Herbert F. Johnson Art Museum, Cornell University
*Los Angeles County Museum of Art
*Minneapolis Institute of Arts
*Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Morikami Museum & Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach, FL
*Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
*Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City
New Orleans Museum of Art
*Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, CA
*Philadelphia Museum of Art
Phoenix Art Museum
Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto
*Arthur M. Sackler Museum for Asian Art, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
Saint Louis Art Museum
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
*Seattle Asian Art Museum
*Smithsonian Institution Freer and Sackler Galleries, Washington, D.C.
Trammel & Margaret Crow Collection of Asian Art, Dallas
University of Michigan Museum of Art
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore