Prof. Greg Thomas: Craftsmanship and Display in France’s Chinese Museum

Date: 31 October 2017
Time: 4:30 – 6:00 pm
Venue: Room 7.58 Run Run Shaw Tower

Empress Eugénie created the Chinese Museum in the palace of Fontainebleau to display Chinese art objects looted by French officers at the palace of Yuanming Yuan in 1860. This talk analyzes the museum display to see how it evaluated and interpreted the Chinese religious and material culture contained in the museum’s collection. By focusing on the museum’s décor, it shows in particular how French craftsmen created ornament and framing devices that paid homage to Chinese craftsmanship while conveying parallels between French and Chinese imperial cultures.