Original Intentions
Essays on Production, Reproduction, and Interpretation in the Arts of China

Edited by Nicholas Pearce and Jason Steuber

Hardcover: $60.00
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Investigates the controversial practice of art replication

"An excellent survey of scholarship surrounding some of the most fundamental issues in the study of Chinese art. Ranging from Chinese bronzes through Buddhist painting and imperial patronage to the development of the modern scholarly field of Chinese art history and contemporary art, it will be an important resource for many different readers."--Shawn Eichman, Honolulu Academy of Arts

For both museums and collectors, questions of "authenticity" often dominate the decision to acquire a new work. This issue is especially thorny for Westerners when dealing with Chinese art.
Believing that everything has a precedent, Chinese artists were never bashful about reproducing art, typically seeing less of a difference between the original work and reproductions. As a result, replication has often been considered a fundamental mode of production in Chinese art, with roots extending to antiquity. In turn, some collectors would knowingly brandish originals next to replicas while others completely rejected the idea of imitations as artworks.
The essays in Original Intentions explore the highly controversial questions of faking, copying, and replicating Chinese painting, bronzes, ceramics, works on paper, and sculpture. Offering a broad range of perspectives on conservation, technical analysis, social history, and collecting, the contributors to the volume explore the question of authenticity in the arts of China. Essays feature both theoretical and object-based research in a broad chronological framework, addressing a wide range of issues in both Chinese and Western contexts.

Nicholas Pearce, professor of Chinese art and Head of the School of Culture and Creative Arts at the University of Glasgow, is the author of Photographs of Peking, China, 1861-1908. Jason Steuber, Cofrin Curator of Asian Art for the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, is the author of China: 3000 Years of Art and Literature.

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"Accessible to those with less exposure to Chinese art.…An oversize, heavy volume with high production values: a sturdy hardcover binding with a dust jacket, printed endpapers, and plentiful, crisp color plates on bright paper."
--ARLIS/NA: Art Libraries Society of North America

"Fascinating...With serious, insightful and scholarly contributions from researchers working across the range of Chinese art-historical and visual studies disciplines, Original intentions is essential reading for anyone interested in or engaged with the field."
--Orientations Book Review

“Offer[s] important observations and insights on production, reproduction, and interpretation in the arts of China”
--The Journal of Asian Studies

By bringing so many methodological approaches together, the volume tackles a number of issues about the practice of art history at large, and the ways historians have over time sought to overcome the ‘disquieting’ isolation of the individual artwork by making comparisons, creating narratives, embedding individual objects in textual imbrications….With its spectacular display of objects, Original Intentions reminds the reader of the vast repertoire of possibilities for objects to be authentic.
--Journal of Art Historiography (blog)

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