Shaping Chinese Art History: Pang Yuanji and His Painting Collection

by Katharine P. Burnett


“Pang Yuanji was arguably the foremost collector of Chinese painting in the early 20th century, and the works from his Xu Zhai Collection that are now in American and Chinese museums are treasured masterpieces. Katharine Burnett tells the story of Pang’s remarkable life and recreates the world of his family, society, and businesses in Hangzhou and Shanghai. Using Pang’s detailed record of his collection, she explains Pang’s collecting practices, analyzes his taste and connoisseurship standards, and traces many works to their present home. An engaging and well-researched volume on this pivotal collector, Shaping Chinese Art History: Pang Yuanji and His Collection makes a substantial contribution to the burgeoning field of studies of modern museum collections of Chinese art.” —Amy McNair, University of Kansas

"This comprehensive and engaging study for the first time brings into focus the full range of activities of the great collector Pang Yuanji, giving us a picture of a crucial figure in the field of Chinese art history. By situating him within a number of relevant frameworks as collector, businessman, and philanthropist, this book helps us better understand the key role which the art of the past played in the making of a modern China. —Craig Clunas, FBA, Professor Emeritus of the History of Art, Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford


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