Plunder or preservation? How Asian art came to U.S.

‘America’s involvement with China goes back to the late 18th century, when Yankee ships began to trade fur pelts and wheat (and later opium) for tea, silks and dishware. As early as 1845-1847, Boston presented the “Great Chinese Museum.”

Harvard University trained and underwrote many early explorers of China’s cultural and archaeological heritage. The 19th century scholar Ernest Fenollosa traveled to the East, converted to Buddhism, oversaw the Oriental section at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts and wrote an essay on the Chinese written character which inspired Ezra Pound’s translations.–

One thought on “Plunder or preservation? How Asian art came to U.S.

  1. The best collection of Ukiyoe woodblock prints is in the States, I believe in some museum in Boston. After WW2 the Japanese were so poor and starving they had no choice but to sell off some of their best artwork to the Americans for rockbottom prices. (it was known as onion skin living ie peel off a layer at a time). Now when there is a major show of woodblock prints in Tokyo, they have to borrow most of it from Boston!!.

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