Works from the Chang Family Collection Go on View

Chinese Painting on the Eve of the Communist Revolution

July 19–November 5 , 2006

Stanford, California — The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presents Chinese Painting on the Eve of the Communist Revolution from July 19 to November 5, 2006. Drawn from the personal collection of the early 20th-century painter Chang Shu-ch'i (1900-1957), this exhibition reveals the richness of Chinese painting during the turbulent years prior to the founding of the People's Republic of China.

Chang was an educator and well-connected painting society member in China, who acted as an ambassador of Chinese art to the United States, presenting a monumental painting of 100 Doves to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941. After emigrating to the U.S., Chang introduced Chinese painting to American audiences through demonstrations and films.
Spanning an era of over 50 years, the approximately 30 works in the exhibition include figure, flower-and-bird, and landscape paintings in the guohua (Chinese national style painting) manner. Along with Chang Shu-ch'i's own works, many of the paintings were gifts to the artists by colleagues and associates, including such renowned artists as Pan Tianshou, Liu Haisu, and Zhang Daqian. Together they reveal an intimate view into artistic circles around Shanghai, set within the political and cultural tensions of the period.

The exhibition, presented in the Ruth Levison Halperin Gallery, also probes the rapid growth and pervasive presence of painting societies, formed to promote career and educational opportunities. Finally, inextricably linked to these societies was the position of many of the represented artists as teachers in large art training schools.

All works for the exhibition are on loan from the Chang Family Collection. Three guest curators collaborated to organize this exhibition, working in a seminar with students who picked works and wrote gallery object labels and artist biographies. The guest curators for this exhibition are Rick Vinograd, Associate Professor of Art History, Stanford University; Julia Andrews, Professor of Art History, Ohio State University; Kuiyi Shen, Associate Professor of Visual Arts, University of California at San Diego. John Listopad, the Cantor Arts Center's former Patrick J. J. Maveety Curator of Asian Art, coordinated their efforts with Center staff for the presentation of the exhibition.

The exhibition is made possible by the Halperin Exhibitions Fund.