The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

December 1, 2016

December 1, 1954

Professor Craig Clunas (December 1, 1954) is a Professor of the History of Art, and Fellow of Trinity College, University of Oxford. This standing began in 2007 and succeeded a career which included time at the V&A Museum, and as Senior Lecturer in History of Art, (1994–97),  and Professor of History of Art, (1997–2003), at the University of Sussex. 

He was also Percival David Professor of Chinese and East Asian Art at the  University of London, from 2003–07.  Clunas was A. W. Mellon Lecturer in Fine Arts, at the Center for Advanced Study in Visual Arts, National Gallery of Art, in Washington, DC, in 2012.

His major publications include:

Chinese Export Watercolours,
Chinese Furniture,
Chinese Art and Chinese Artists in France, 1924-1925
Superfluous Things: social status and material culture in Early Modern China
, 1991;
Fruitful Sites: garden culture in Ming Dynasty China
, 1996;
Art in China, 1997;
Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China,
Elegant Debts: the social art of Wen Zhengming, 2004;
Empire of Great Brightness: visual and material cultures of Ming China,

Screen of Kings: royal art and power in Ming China, (2013) is, to quote the jacket copy "... the first book in any language to examine the cultural role of the regional aristocracy – relatives of the emperors – in Ming dynasty China (1368–1644)." Therein we find this quote:

Of something like the huge palace of the Kings of Jin at Taiyuan, totally destroyed by fire shortly after the Qing conquest in 1646, we have only odd pairs of cast-iron lions, guardian figures which once stood outside a gate and which attest by their inscriptions to their date and origin.

We see the prose style of Professor Clunas can match the evanescent quality of some paintings. His latest book concerns the art market: Chinese Painting and Its Audiences (2016).

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