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Grant number like: FA-53066-07

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Stanley Kenji Abe
Duke University (Durham, NC 27705-4677)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$40,000 (approved)
$40,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2007 – 6/30/2008

Making Chinese Buddhist Sculpture Into Art

Chinese Buddhist sculpture can be found displayed in art museums in many parts of the world. But barely a century ago, no such objects were considered art. My study is the first to examine how Chinese Buddhist images came to be “sculpture” and a category of the fine arts at the beginning of the twentieth century. Chinese Buddhist sculpture was moved from sites of worship, curiosity, idolatry, religion, and ethnography to those of the art market, art history, and the museum. I will be concerned with the specific histories of objects and their movement as well as the historical conditions and the scholarly disciplines—art history, Buddhist studies, and Sinology—that enabled not only a new kind of object but a new kind of knowledge.