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Historic Chinese Painting Collection

 

About This Collection

Collection Description

China has an over 5000-years history of civilization. Chinese painting art is a shining pearl in the crown of Chinese cultural heritage. This collection of historic Chinese painting in early modern China focuses on a wide array of Chinese artworks in traditional and early modern painting and calligraphy. The collection consists of over 100 items of texts, images, audio and videos files and web links about masterpiece painting and calligraphy works of 10 most salient Chinese artists (including two female artists) in a special era of Chinese history (1840-1949) when feudalistic China was just opening its door to the Western world. In a gigantic ocean of Chinese painting artworks, this collection, despite its limited scope of collection, can provide users a convenient way of browsing and searching some of masterpieces of the Chinese early modern art so as to get a quick glimpse of early modern Chinese art history and gain a flavor of Chinese traditional and early modern painting and calligraphy.

Collection Development Policy  

In the process of systematically building this digital library of historic Chinese painting collection, we have established a clear collection development policy focusing on the aspects of selection of collection items, strategies for continuing acquisition, and evaluation of collections. We also developed a guideline for collection selection which includes several criteria. First, the paintings and calligraphy works were composed by famous Chinese artists in mainland China whose artworks were created in the specific time period of early modern China (between 1840 and 1949). Second, the collection items represent major genres of different Chinese traditional and early modern artworks such as ink painting, watercolor painting, brush painting that have some historical significance and representativeness as well as some oil paintings that represent an emerging artwork trend for bridging and integrating the Eastern and Western painting traditions. We aim to satisfy users’ needs (e.g., gaining a basic sense of Chinese painting and calligraphy) through strategic selection of collection items (e.g., masterpiece works of most salient Chinese artists in the target time period) and assessment of the collection (e.g., quality of collection, organization for access, and interface design). We focus on Westerners as our user base who have little knowledge about Chinese painting art and yet are interested in learning about it. Given the nature of this project, we avoid purchased or licensed materials for our collection. We develop our collections mainly by gathering digitized items made from books, digitized materials from museums, downloaded online items, and other web-based resources. We address the copyright issues by setting the selection priority on materials produced before 1921 and those from public domains.

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