FYS: Collecting Art/Excluding People: The Contradictions of Chinese Art in U.S. Museums


Tomb raiders, curators, archaeologists, politicians, dealers, and collectors all contributed to the arrival of Chinese art in the United States since the late nineteenth century. But at the same time as Chinese objects arrived in great quantities, Chinese people were actively excluded from the U.S. In this course we consider the contradiction between U.S. enthusiasm for collecting Chinese art and negative U.S. responses to Chinese immigrants, from the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act to contemporary anti-Asian racism. Through the lens of museums, private collections, and public exhibitions, we study what the movement of Chinese art into the United States says about changes in U.S.-China relations from the nineteenth century through today. No prerequisite: enrollment limited to first-year students.
Course Attributes: FA AH; EN H; FYS; BU Hum; BU BA; AS HUM; AS LCD; FA HUM; AR HUM