47. Chinese Ptg Collotype Reproduction Books

This is less a reminiscence, although in a sense it is that, than a guide to researchers on the whereabouts of collections of collotype reproduction books for Chinese painting. It was written after reading Cheng-hua Wang's draft of an article titled "New Printing Technology and Heritage Preservation: Reproduction of Antiquities in Early Twentieth Century China," written for a forthcoming symposium. As she writes, large numbers of these were published during the first four decades of the 20th century, mostly in Shanghai, after which they are popularly called Shanghai-pan. They are mostly bound in blue paper (flimsy) covers, and most are devoted to single works, albums or handscrolls; a smaller number contain collections of paintings by a single artist, or of works in some collection. Together with the many collotype reproduction books published in Japan (which are treated in Yu-chih Lai's paper for the same symposium) they make up a huge archive of reproduction materials for Chinese painting. One of my dreamed-of projects, during my active years, was to enlist the help of colleagues all over the world in compiling a kind of "union list" of these, telling where copies of them can be found. There are many collections of them, brought together by institutions and individuals; I have gone through quite a few of these, making notes on rare and especially interesting books. Below I will list, with commentary, the major collections known to me. Many more of course exist, especially in P. R. China, with the Shanghai Library (cited by Wang) notable among them, which I haven't gone through. Today the project, if ever carried out at all, might better add some digital archiving of the images in them to the simple list by titles and information on the paintings. The listing below is in no order.


- My own collection. built up over many years, was recently given to East Asiatic Library at the University of California, Berkeley (hereafter EAL) and by their count numbered 886 titles. Some of these were sets, including rare ones such as Shen-chou ta-kuan. The EAL staff went through them to eliminate duplicates (ones they already owned); these were delivered to More Moe's Books in Berkeley and sold by them for a sum that barely covered the cost of having them appraised (by Ken Eastman of More Moe's) for tax purposes. The whole collection will be accessible in the new

EAL building scheduled to open this October (2007), in a special East Asian Art seminar. Although not the largest collection, it will have the advantage of being well catalogued and easily accessible, and accompanied by a great research library for Chinese studies. Most of those below are not catalogued—these books present problems for librarians—and some are not readily accessible.


- The collection that was used for the multi-volume publication Shina Nanga Taisei (which is based entirely on these books—no other sources) belonged to a collector in Kyoto named Okumura Ikurô, who also published several issues of his own magazine titled Urinasu, or Ikurô Zasshi. The entire collection of reproduction books was purchased in the 1950s by Gustav Ecke for the library of the Honolulu Academy of Art, where it is still stored in 19 boxes, each of about 20 books. It has scarcely been used over the years.


- The large collection of Osvald Sirén was sold by him, along with the rest of his library, to the Rietberg Museum in Zürich—a sale that outraged his younger colleagues in Chinese art in Sweden, who pointed out that many of the books had been given to Sirén with the expectation that they would remain in Stockholm. The only copy known to me of a book that proved essential to my research, reproducing (in bowdlerized form) an erotic album by Ku Chien-lung, was located in this library after a long search, through the kindness of Helmut Brinker (who is no longer with the Museum.)


- A large and fine collection of them, brought together by some Japanese collector, kept in 14 chitsu or t'ao cases, all in like-new condition, was purchased (from Eda Bungadô in Tokyo) by Martie Young in the 1960s, and is in the Cornell University Library. I borrowed it and indexed it.


- What must be a large and fine collection in the former library of Peter Swann, who was the first foreign Chinese painting specialist to spend a year in Japan after WW II in the early 1950s (I was the second), was sold by him to the library at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. It hasn't been catalogued, and waits in storage.


- The art library at Princeton in McCormick Hall has a fairly large collection, reportedly purchased by George Rowley, all in fine condition, and containing some rare ones. They have only recently been catalogued.


- Both the Harvard-Yenching Library at Harvard and the Asian art library at the Sackler (former Fogg) have big and good collections. These are presumably all catalogued and accessible.


- The collection of the late Victoria Contag is kept in the Museum für Ostasiatische Kunst in Cologne. It is an important collection, but to my knowledge hasn't been fully catalogued and is not easily accessible.


- Important collections are at the library of the Tôyô Bunka Kenkyûjo at Tokyo University and the Jimbun Kagaku Kenkyûjo in Kyoto. I have gone though both, but am not clear about whether they are catalogued and accessible.


- Big collections are in the libraries of several U.S. museums: the Nelson-
Atkins Museum in Kansas City, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Freer Gallery of Art.


- Collections that I have partly gone through in China are in the libraries of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and the Institute of Chinese Culture (Chung-kuo I-shu Yen-chiu-yüan) also in Beijing. Neither is easily accessible (I was ejected from both after brief forays) or catalogued. As noted above, great collections are no doubt available in the major libraries in Beijing, Shanghai, and elsewhere. Cheng-hua Wang's article mentioned at the top cites an index of the Shanghai Library, and there are doubtless others that could be used.

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