In this section you will find works published either as
general art historical surveys, encyclopaedic works, bibliographies,
dictionaries, or collection and exhibition catalogues. They provide
overviews of Chinese art in its various forms and from different historic
periods. Some monographs contain excellent bibliographies.
Auboyer, Jeannine ... [et al.] Oriental Art: A Handbook
of Styles and Forms. New York: Rizzoli, 1980.
Translated from French, it provides basic information
on styles, mythologies, religions, and cultures, covering South,
Southeast and East Asia.
The British Museum Book of Chinese Art, edited
by Jessica Rawson. London: British Museum Press, 1992. 395 p.
Written on the occasion of the opening of Sir Joseph
Hotung Gallery at the British Museum, the book consists of 6 chapters
on jade and bronzes, calligraphy and painting, sculpture, decorative
arts, ceramics and Aluxuries for trade.@ The appended chronologies,
lists of archaeological and Buddhist sites, painters and glossaries
are extremely useful. It not only complements the display in the
gallery, but also outlines various aspects of Chinese art.
Cambridge Encyclopedia of China. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press, 1982.
A good source for a quick reference on China in general.
One can also find entries on Chinese art, architecture and archaeology.
Clunas, Craig. Art in China. (Oxford History
of Art series). Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. 255 p.
Reader in History of Art at the University of Sussex,
the author gives a concise history of art in China, with explanations
on, AWhat is art in China?@
_____. Superfluous Things: Material Culture and Social
Status in Early Modern China. Cambridge: Polity Press, 1991.
It discusses some of the ways of looking at things
and connoisseurship in the late Ming dynasty (1368-1644) China,
with broad themes, such as shaping of aesthetic values by social
forces and expression of social distinctions Athrough things.@ It
crosses the disciplinary boundaries of art and social history and
looks at aspects of material culture and social context.
_____. Pictures and Visuality in Early Modern China
(Picturing history series). London: Reaktion, 1997.
The work focuses on the 17th century, a period of
rapid economic development and cultural production, forming a consumer
society. Pictures were a major source of consumable luxury at the
time, Apictures@ not only in the form of Aart,@ but also in the
form of wall decoration, in books and prints, on ceramics, lacquer,
textiles and even on the dress of the prosperous.
Contemporary Chinese Aesthetics, edited Zhu Liyuan
and Gene Blockner. New York: Peter Lang, 1995. 350 p.
A collection of 21 essays by contemporary leading
Chinese aestheticians of different generations representing different
schools, a mixture of Chinese, Marxist and other European aesthetics.
Among the essays are, ASpace-consciousness in Chinese art,@ AArt
appreciation as recreation,@ AAncient Chinese aesthetics,@ AModern
Chinese aesthetics,@ Aart and image,@ and, AThe essence of art.@
Dictionary of Art, editor Jane Turner. New York:
Grove=s Dictionaries; London: Macmillan, 1996. 34 volumes, including
index. (The online version website: http://www.groveart.com. )
The entry on China (from v. 6, p. 607 to v. 7, p.
162) consists of a lengthy introduction including geography, history,
trade, religion and philosophy, followed by exhaustive studies of
10 major art forms (architecture, sculpture, calligraphy, painting,
bronzes, ceramics, jade-carving, lacquer, gold and silver, furniture
and textiles) and discussions of 26 minor arts, such as arms and
armour, bamboo-, ivory-, wood-carving, cloisonne, jewellery, even
theatre, and sections on popular art, the arts of different nationalities
of China, art training, collections and museums. There are also
several hundred separate entries on Chinese artists and a hundred
or so entries on archaeological sites and cities. (Lack of illustrations
and not too up-to-date bibliographies)
Eberhard, Wolfram. A Dictionary of Chinese Symbols:
Hidden Symbols in Chinese Life and Thought. New York: Routledge
& Kegan Paul, 1986.
A translation from German, useful tool for identifying
symbols in Chinese culture.
Gray, Basil. Studies in Chinese and Islamic art.
London: The Pindar Press, 1985-1987.
Vol. 1 deals with Chinese art, drawing examples from
various collections in Great Britain covering Chinese painting,
calligraphy, decorative arts, and museums of China and Japan, and
touching upon Korea.
Hansford, S. Howard. A Glossary of Chinese Art and
Archaeology. 2nd rev. ed. London: The China Society, 1961.
Still a useful tool for students and collectors to
gain a quick understanding of Chinese terms in art and archaeology,
though intended for readers with a certain knowledge of Chinese
language. Architecture and calligraphy are not included.
Hutt, Julia. Understanding Far Eastern Art: A Complete
Guide to the Arts of China, Japan and Korea: Ceramics, Sculpture,
Painting, Prints, Lacquer, Textiles and Metalwork. Oxford: Phaidon,
This work introduces the arts of China, Japan and
Korea to the non-specialist, focusing on the main materials and
techniques used, to help them understand the objects.
Jones, Lois Swan. Art Information and the Internet:
How to Find It, How to Use It. Phoenix: Oryx Press, 1999.
A good resource tool. (Read the review in Art documentation,
v. 18, no. 1)
Lee, Sherman E. A History of Far Eastern Art.
5th ed. New York: Prentice Hall and Abrams, 1994. 576 p.
The first edition was the result of lectures delivered
by the author at the University of Washington. The 5th completely
revised edition still has the original concept, that is, to deal
with Acomparisons of various and diverse things with an eye for
an educated audience that has not had the time nor the patience
to deal with the highly specialized studies,@ providing broad overall
analysis. Pt. I and IV deal with China. The author is considered
the last Asian art generalist.
_____. China, 5000 Years: Innovation and Transformation
in the Arts of China, selected by Sherman Lee. New York: Guggenheim
Catalog of an exhibition of 250 outstanding objects
from 17 provinces in China, at Guggenheim New York and Bilbao, 1998.
The Huntington Archive of Buddhist and Related Art, Ohio State University,
has a website: http://kaladarshan.arts.ohio-state.edu/, with images
of the objects and sections of the catalog.
Li, Tse-hou. The Path of Beauty: A Study of Chinese
Aesthetics. Beijing: Morning Glory Pub., 1988.
A translation of the 1983 Chinese edition, the work
focuses on styles and motifs, characteristics of art in China and
its interaction with Chinese culture and literature.
Medley, Margaret. A Handbook of Chinese Art for Collectors
and Students. New York: Harper & Row, 1964.
Basic terminology (about 500 entries) for Chinese
art; good for a quick reference.
Munsterberg, Hugo. Dictionary of Chinese and Japanese
Art. New York: Hacker, 1981.
Another good tool for quick reference.
_____. Symbolism in Ancient Chinese Art. New
York: Hacker, 1986.
Animal and other motifs, such as a dragon, tiger,
bull, cicada, and celestial symbols, are discussed with examples
from the art collections in the US, Canada and Great Britain.
Powers, Martin Joseph. Art and Political Expression
in Early China. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1991.
Using pictorial images from sepulchral monuments and
tomb reliefs, the work uses a combination of historical and stylistic
data to build a picture of the Han dynasty (221 B.C.-220A.D.) It
is also listed in ASculpture.@
Rawson, Jessica. Ancient China: Art and Archaeology.
New York: Harper & Row, 1980.
Divided into five chapters by period, the Neolithic,
Shang, Western Zhou, Eastern Zhou and Han dynasties, the book is
intended as a companion to the British Museum=s collection of early
Chinese art and archaeological material, but serves as a general
historical survey of Chinese art up till 220 A.D.
_____. Chinese Ornament: The Lotus and the Dragon.
New York: Holmes & Meier, 1984.
An exhibition catalog, it focuses on two dominant
motifs, lotus and dragon, tracing the history of animal and floral
ornaments, their ubiquity in Chinese art, and their influences on
Seymour, Nancy N. An Index-Dictionary of Chinese
Artists, Collectors, and Connoisseurs. Metuchen: Scarecrow, 1988.
It includes more than 5000 Chinese names and biographical
information, with Chinese characters, an index of modified stroke
count, a tool for converting the two romanization systems, and a
selected bibliography. For a quick reference.
Shulman, Frank Joseph. Doctoral Dissertations on
China and on Inner Asia, 1976-1990: An Annotated Bibliography of Studies
in Western Languages. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1998.
Continuation of his Doctoral Dissertations on China,
1945-1970 and Doctoral Dissertations on China, 1971-1975,
the new publication is a comprehensive, multidisciplinary annotated
guide to 10,293 dissertations in the humanities, social sciences,
education, theology, and other disciplines. Entries #333-534 deal
with art and art history; #648-711 with Chinese influence on Asian
art, and #712-751 deal with Chinese influence on Western art.
Sickman, Laurence and Alexander Soper. The Art and
Architecture of China. Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, 1971.
Still a good reference book, focussing on painting,
sculpture and architecture.
South East Asia & China: Art, Interaction &
Commerce (Colloquies on art & archaeology in Asia; no. 17),
edited by Rosemary Scott & John Guy. London: Percival David Foundation
of Chinese Art, 1995.
Consists of 15 papers delivered at the 17th Percival
David Foundation Colloquy, dealing with Chinese influences and interaction
with South East Asia as reflected in art.
Style in the East Asian Tradition (Colloquies
on art & archaeology in Asia ; no. 14), edited by Rosemary E.
Scott and Graham Hutt. London: Percival David Foundation of Chinese
Consists of 12 papers delivered at the 14th Percival
David Foundation Colloquy, in honor of William Watson, Professor
of East Asian art at University of London, one of the early art
historians. It includes a bibliography of William Watson=s works
Sullivan, Michael. The Arts of China. 3rd ed.
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.
Similar to the earlier editions of 1967 and 1973,
it gives a historical survey of art in China beginning from the
prehistoric era to the 20th century. The bibliographical references
listed are of western languages before 1982.
_____. The Meeting of Eastern and Western Art. Berkeley:
University of California, 1989.
Deals with Japan and China, the interaction of China
and Europe and America and their mutual influences.
_____. Studies in the Art of China and South-East
Asia. London: The Pindar Press, 1991.
Vol. 1 deals with Chinese art, with emphasis on pictorial
art and some discussion on the influences of Western art and the
Chinese response to it.
Tregear, Mary. Chinese Art. London: Thames and
A short survey of Chinese art with illustrations.
Vanderstappen, Harrie A. The T.L. Yuan Bibliography
of Western Writings on Chinese Art and Archaeology. London: Mansell,
A reference book on Chinese art and archaeology, listing
2278 books and 8954 articles, covering materials published between
1920 and 1965, with index. Very useful for searching for earlier
Walravens, Hartmut. Bibliographien Zur Ostasiatischen
Kunstgeschichte in Deutschland. Hamburg: Bell, 1983-1984.
Contains bibliographical references written by German
scholars Adolf Fischer, Freda Fischer, Karl With, Ludwig Bachhofer,
Alfred Salmony, Otto Kümmel, with a list of reviews of the 1912
East Asian art exhibition in Berlin.
Watson, William. The Arts of China to AD 900.
New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995.
As the title indicates the book covers historic periods
till the Tang dynasty (618-907). Subjects, such as pottery, bronzes,
jade, lacquer, sculpture, Buddhist and secular, are discussed chronologically
from the Neolithic age to the end of the Tang.
Werner, E.T.C. A Dictionary of Chinese Mythology.
New York: Julian Press, 1969.
Useful tool for finding myths and legends of China,
with index and bibliography
Williams, C.A.S. Encyclopedia of Chinese Symbolism
and Art Motives. New York: Julian Press, 1960.
Still useful and easy to use with entries arranged
in alphabetical order. At the end of each entry one can find bibliographical
Wu, Hung. Monumentality in Early Chinese Art and
Architecture. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995.
A broad-ranging investigation of the abstract concept
of monumentality, spanning two thousand years of Chinese art history
and a variety of media, the work provides a new type of history
of early Chinese art and architecture, covering the rise and decline
of ritual art, palaces and funerary monuments in the Qin and Han
(221 B.C.- 220 A.D.) with stone as medium, also discussing the emergence
of the individual artist in the post-Han period.
Return to Table of Contents
Archives of Asian art. ISSN 0066-6637. New York:
Asia Society, v. 20 (1967)-
Continues: Archives of the Chinese Art Society
of America (1945/46-1965). The most recent issue: v. 49 (1996).
Vol. 50, no. 1 just out after 3-year delay.
Ars Orientalis. ISSN 0571-1371. Ann Arbor, Mich.:
Dept. of the History of Art, University of Michigan, 1954-
Sponsored by the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian
Institution, the periodical is current but irregular.
Artibus Asiae. ISSN 0004-3648. Zurich: The Museum
Rietberg in cooperation with the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian
Irregular, but current.
Arts Asiatique. ISSN 0004-3958. Paris: Direction
des Musees de France, 1954-
Arts of Asia. ISSN 0004-4083. Hong Kong: Arts
of Asia Publications, 1971-
Asianart.com at: http://www.asianart.com
An online journal for the study and exhibition of
the arts of Asia. Links to associations, exhibitions, articles,
Asian Art & Culture. Washington, DC: Arthur
M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; New York: Oxford University
Continues: Asian Art (1987/88-1993). Since
1997 it has become a Amonographic@ series, published by University
of Washington Press. So far two monographs have been published.
The Asian Art Newspaper. ISSN 1460-8537. London:
The Asian Art Ltd., 1997-
Monthly (except July and August); published for collectors,
dealers, museums and galleries, with reviews on exhibitions and
Asian Perspectives: The Journal of Archaeology for
Asia and the Pacific. ISSN 0066-8435. Hawaii: University of Hawaii
Bibliography of Asian Studies. ISSN 0067-7159.
Ann Arbor, MI: Association for Asian Studies, 1970-
Current with delay
The Bulletin of the Oriental Ceramic Society of Hong
Kong. Hong Kong: The OCS, 1975-
Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies,
University of London. ISSN 0041-977X. London: The School, 1940-
Three times a year
China Archaeology and Art Digest. ISSN 1027-1503.
Hong Kong: Art Text (HK), 1996-
A new quarterly journal, digest and index in English
of all Chinese publications in the archaeological and art history
fields, for scholars, collectors, museums and libraries. Very useful.
Monumenta Serica: Journal of Oriental Studies.
ISSN 0254-9948. Peiping: Vetch, 1935-
Now published annually in Sankt Augustin, Germany
by Monumenta Serica Institute, it covers all areas of Sinology,
including art. Also has book reviews and notes.
Museum of East Asian Art Journal. Bath, England:
The Museum, 1995-
Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities Bulletin. ISSN
0081-5691. Stockholm: The Museum, 1960-
National Palace Museum Bulletin. ISSN 0027-9846.
Taipei, Taiwan: National Palace Museum, 1966-
Bimonthly, current. The Museum has a website: http://www.npm.gov.tw.
Newsletter, East Asian Art & Archaeology.
ISSN 8755-4593. Ann Arbor, Mich.: East Asian Program, The University
of Michigan, 1977-
Oriental Art. ISSN 0196-0008. London: Oriental
Art Magazine, 1948-
Orientations. ISSN 0030-5448. Hong Kong: Pacific
Revue Bibliographique de Sinologie = Review of bibliography
in Sinology. ISSN 0080-2484. Paris: Editions de l=Ecole des hautes
etudes en sciences sociales, 1957-
Annual, current, with one chapter dealing with art
and archaeology, listing both monographs and journal articles in
western and Asian languages.
Silk Road Art and Archaeology: Journal of the Institute
of Silk Road Studies, Kamakura. ISSN 0917-1614. Kamakura-shi,
Japan: The Institute, 1990-
Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society.
ISSN 0306-0926. London: The Society, 1923-
Begun with an unnumbered issue for 1921/22, it is
published annually. Articles cover not only Chinese art and Chinese
ceramics, but also other Asian art.
The Society also has a newsletter, listing museum
exhibitions, gallery and dealer shows, symposia, lecture series,
courses and workshops, museum news and publications.
Return to Table of Contents
Prepared by the Library of the Freer
Gallery of Art
and the Arthur M.Sackler Gallery
in cooperation with Public Inquiry Services,
revised 11 October 2000