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Grant number like: FA-56320-11

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Qianshen Bai
Boston University (Boston, MA 02215-1300)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
9/1/2011 – 8/31/2012

Wu Dacheng (1835-1902) and the Modern Fate of Chinese Literati Art

Chinese literati art underwent a historical transformation in the second half of the 19th century when imperial China encountered unprecedented crises in a new international environment. This project investigates the modern fate of Chinese literati art through the study of the senior official and eminent artist Wu Dacheng. It tries to answer several key questions: To what extent was the art of scholar-officials of the nineteenth century a response to the challenges of the new international environment? What role did the literati art play, if any, in their projects to reform and modernize China? To what degree was their art transformed in its new social context? In what ways? This project will be the first comprehensive, book-length account in any language of Wu's life, political career, scholarship, and artistic activities. Based on an investigation of the art and collection of Wu Dacheng, this project fleshes out the relationships between art and politics in 19th-century China.