In Collecting Objects / Excluding People, Lenore Metrick-Chen demonstrates an unknown impact of Chinese immigration upon nineteenth-century American art and visual culture. The American ideas of “Chineseness” ranged from a negative portrayal to an admiring one and these varied images had an effect on museum art collections and advertising images. They brought new ideas into American art theory, anticipating twentieth-century Modernism. Metrick-Chen shows that efforts to construct a cultural democracy led to the creation of unforeseen new categories for visual objects and unanticipated social changes. Collecting Objects / Excluding People reveals the power of images upon culture, the influence of media representation upon the lives of Chinese immigrants, and the impact of political ideology upon the definition of art itself.
A masterful insight into South Asian art, this book will interest researchers, scholars, and students of South Asian art and art history, and Pakistan in particular. Further, it will be useful to those engaged in the fields of Islamic studies, museum studies, and modern South Asian history.
The wide range of case studies brought together in this book draw attention to the impact of physical and cultural settings, as well as of various exhibitive criteria and techniques, on different types of manifestations of ideas of China through the medium of museum display. Adopting an underlying theoretical framework whereby representation is a mimetic operation that creatively contributes to the transmission of awareness and knowledge of the Other, the book provides a re-evaluation of the concept of appropriation, emphasising how the recognition of a cultural Other can be instrumental in the determination of certain modes of self-expression. On this basis, the book also elaborates a suggestive definition of Italian Orientalism intended as a phenomenon by which while relating to and trying to represent China, Italy is induced to question and represent its own cultural identity.
Through an analysis of fieldwork data, the book identifies and navigates the long and rich history of many of the buildings housing the displays, the different ages of the specimens exhibited and the diversity of topics illustrated, spanning from the artistic and technical achievements of ancient China to the socio-economic changes of contemporary China. As representations are re-affirmed, developed and changed, the variety of materials included in the displays play a relevant part in bringing forth the comprehensive and overarching character of cultural representations in museum contexts.
This book links art history, museology and visual culture studies to examine how museums have attempted to reveal, discuss and resolve some of these issues. Amy Jane Barnes addresses a series of related issues associated with collection and display: how museums deal with difficult and controversial subjects; the role they play in mediating between the object and the audience; the role of the Other in the creation of Self and national identities; the nature, role and function of art in society; the museum as image-maker; the impact of communism (and Maoism) on the cultural history of the twentieth-century; and the appropriation of communist visual iconography. This book will be of interest to researchers and students of museology, visual and cultural studies as well as scholars of Chinese and revolutionary art.