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Chinese Art Books from the Simon and Rosemary Chen Collection

July 13 – September 16, 2007

SRChenIn 2006, the Kohler Art Library received over 200 books and serials on Chinese art from Simon and Rosemary Chen. This extraordinary gift focuses on contemporary Chinese art from the late 19th century to the present day. Most of the books and serials, some of which are rare, were acquired by the Chens during travels to Taiwan in the 1970s and to mainland China in the 1980s. Many of the titles are owned only by a small number of libraries worldwide and are not available on the book market today. The sizeable and important donation creates a new collection of strength for the library. Simon Chen, a local engineer, placed his chop (the characters translate: Self Reliance Hall Collection of Chinese Books and Paintings) in each item to mark their provenance. Complementing the library gift, the Chens donated a collection of over seventy works of Chinese paintings, calligraphy, and rubbings dating from the 17th to the 20th centuries to the Chazen Museum of Art. Important works in the collection include paintings by the early Qing artists Zhu Da (1626-1705) and Yu Zhiding (1647-1716) and by the Republican artists Gao Qifeng (1889-1933) and Chang Dai-chien (1899-1983). The most recent examples of art represent the revival of traditional ink-painting techniques in mainland China after the Cultural Revolution. The gift of Chinese art books and paintings combine to form an invaluable teaching and research tool in the arts and humanities. The exhibit runs from July 13-September 16, 2007.

Curated by Lyn Korenic.

Image from:  Qi Baishi hua ji.  Di 1 ban. Beijing: Ren min mei shu chu ban she, 1978.