China's Hidden Century: 1796-1912 (Hardcover)
Cultural creativity in China between 1796 and 1912 demonstrated extraordinary resilience in a time of warfare, land shortages, famine, and uprisings. Innovation can be seen in material culture (including print, painting, calligraphy, textiles, jewelry, ceramics, lacquer, arms and armor, and photography) during a century in which China's art, literature, crafts, and technology faced unprecedented exposure to global influences.
Until recently the nineteenth century in China has been defined as an era of cultural stagnation. Built on new research, this book sets out a fresh understanding of this important period and creates a detailed visual account of responses to war, technology, urbanization, political transformations, and external influences.
The narratives are brought to life and individualized through illustrated biographical accounts that highlight the diversity of voices and experiences contributing to this fascinating, turbulent period in Chinese history.
Exhibition dates: British Museum, May-October 2023
About the Author
Jessica Harrison-Hall is curator of the exhibition China's Hidden Century, head of the China Section, and curator of the Sir Percival David Collections and of Chinese Decorative Arts and Ceramics at the British Museum. She is author of China: A History in Objects. Julia Lovell is professor of modern China at Birkbeck, University of London. Her book The Opium War: Drugs, Dreams and the Making of China won the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature in 2012 and her book Maoism: A Global History won the 2019 Cundill History Prize. Mei Mei Rado is Assistant Professor of History of Dress, Textiles and Decorative Arts, Bard Graduate Center. Stephen R. Platt is Professor of Chinese History, University of Massachussetts, Amherst. Chia-ling Yang is Professor of Chinese Art, University of Edinburgh. Anne Gerritsen is Professor of History, University of Warwick. Jeffrey Wasserstrom is Chancellor's Professor of History, University of California, Irvine. Wenyuan Xin is Project Curator for the exhibition China's hidden century