A Perpetual Fire: John C. Ferguson and His Quest for Chinese Art and Culture
It was a time of rapid and radical change, and he tried to be the center of it all. At the beginning of the 20th Century, museums started to embrace Asian art, and more specifically Chinese art. But what categorized Chinese art? What made a particular piece Chinese and also art at the same time? It generally could not be judged based on the old European styles, they were so radically different. In would step John Ferguson, a former missionary turned art dealer. He would help bring the ideal of Chinese art to Western audiences, and help explain it to academics as well, who had a limited exposure to Chinese art. What helped was that John Ferguson was also from America, so his audience would understand him.
This book examines the life and career of John Ferguson; his triumphs, ups and downs, and troubles with a rapidly changing China. How he first started collecting Chinese art, and then used that collection to spread his thoughts around the world. The book is decent; it just gets bogged down in names, collections and museums. It tries to follow his life chronologically and thematically; and like many others it just misses the mark.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Author||Lara Jaishree Netting|
|Page Count||304 pages|
|Publisher||Hong Kong University Press|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|