Exhibitions: Contemporary Paintings in the Traditional Manner from the People's Republic of China

  • 1st Floor
    Arts of Africa, Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden
  • 2nd Floor
    Arts of Asia and the Islamic World
  • 3rd Floor
    Egyptian Art, European Paintings
  • 4th Floor
    Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
  • 5th Floor
    Luce Center for American Art

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    Contemporary Paintings in the Traditional Manner from the People's Republic of China

    Press Releases ?
    • Spring 1980: The exhibition Contemporary Paintings in the Traditional Manner from the People’s Republic of China demonstrates the continuing friendship and cultural exchange between the United States and the People’s Republic of China. On view at The Brooklyn Museum March 8 through May 4, 1980, the exhibition was organized by the China Exhibition Agency, Beijing, People’s Republic of China. In return, the first American art exhibition to be seen in China, Lewis W. Hine, 1874-1940: A Retrospective of the Photographer, is presently touring the People’s Republic of China through June 1. The Brooklyn Museum also hosted the first American showing of the Peasant Paintings from Huhsien County of the People’s Republic of China exhibition in 1977.

      Although mainly by living artists, the fifty paintings in the Contemporary Paintings exhibition are all traditional in format (hanging scroll), subject matter (landscapes, figures, birds-and-flowers), technique (ink and color on paper or silk), and style (generally, the so-called literati style).

      The force of tradition is very strong throughout the history of Chinese painting. Chinese artists learned to paint by copying the work of earlier artists until they had mastered various styles and were ready to develop individual styles of their own.

      The Chinese have always valued the arts of calligraphy and painting. These are closely related; the same type of brush, ink,
      and paper are used for both. Furthermore, since early times, Chinese paintings have often incorporated passages of calligraphy -- usually a poem composed by the artist himself, who takes into consideration the placement, proportions, and calligraphic style of the inscription in relation to the picture, as well as their mutual theme. The artist habitually signs the poem-picture, and stamps it with one or more of his seals.

      The related arts of calligraphy and painting are uniquely important in China because a Chinese child literally grows up with a brush in his hand; children learn writing from an early age. This training involves the mastery of the most flexible and difficult -- but also the most varied and expressive -- of writing and drawing implements, the Chinese brush.

      The press is invited to a special preview on Wednesday, March 5, 6-9 PM. Please call the Public Relations Department to arrange photography sessions. An illustrated checklist ($.25) is available.

      Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1980, 042-43. View Original 1 . View Original 2

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    The Brooklyn Museum Archives maintains a collection of historical press releases. Many of these have been scanned and made available on our Web site. The releases range from brief announcements to extensive articles; images of the original releases have been included for your reference. Please note that all the original typographical elements, including occasional errors, have been retained. Releases may also contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
    For select exhibitions, we have made available some or all of the informative text panels written by the curator or organizer. Called "didactics," these panels are presented to the public during the exhibition's run, and we reproduce them here for your reference and archival interest. Please note that any illustrations on the original didactics have not been retained, and that the text may contain errors as a result of the scanning process. We welcome your feedback about corrections.
    For select exhibitions, we have made available some or all of the objects from the Brooklyn Museum collection that were in the installation. These objects are listed here for your reference and archival interest, but the list may be incomplete and does not contain objects owned by other institutions or lenders.
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