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Everyday Life in China

DATES September 17, 1943 through November 14, 1943
  • September 15, 1943 On Thursday afternoon, September 16th, the Brooklyn Museum will open with a private tea and reception in the Special Exhibitions Gallery, its first major exhibition of the fall: EVERYDAY LIFE IN CHINA. This exhibition will be open to the public from Friday, September 17th through Sunday, November 7th.

    The list of honorary patrons includes Ambassador and Madame Wei, Mr. James G. Blaine, Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Blum, Mrs. Edward C. Carter, Mr. and Mrs. Sidney W. Davidson, Mr. Mortimer Graves, Mr. Paul G. Hoffman, Mr. and Mrs. C. T. Loo, Mrs. John T. Pratt, Mr. Alan Priest, Mrs. Own Roberts, Prof. and Mrs. George Rowley, Mr. and Mrs. Adrian Van Sinderen, Bishop Herbert Welch, Mr. Wendell L. Willkie, Mr. C. F. Yau, Mr. Tsune-Chi Yu and Dr. and Mrs. Lin Yutang.

    The material in this show covers all phases of Chinese life, with some reference to the past and perhaps an indication of the future. There are photographs of Chinese workers in the temporary factories set up in Northwest China, actual costumes from the past and present, games and toys, theatrical masks and musical instruments, samples of grain and types of foods, furniture and decorative arts. Among all the things that we owe to China, things invented in China and brought to the Western world, the Museum is showing silk, paper, wood-blocks for printing, movable types, playing cards, porcelains and tea. There is a farmer’s pick with the handle set into the metal head, an invention of the Chinese, and there are kites which also originated in China.

    In connection with this exhibition there will be special programs which will include a performance of Chinese Shadow plays by the Rad-Gate Shadow Players, demonstrations of calligraphy and painting by Chinese artists, a lecture and demonstration on the making of modern Chinese clothes and special showings of motion pictures.

    In addition, there will several program given over week-ends which will be open free of charge to the general public. On September 18th, the film “400,000,000” the fine documentary film on modern China will be shown, and on Sunday, September 19th, a program of Chinese music, both old and new, will be given.

    PRESS PREVIEW: Tuesday, September 14th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 7-9/1943, 110-1.
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  • September 17, 1943 On Sunday afternoon, September 19th, the Brooklyn Museum will present a concert of Chinese music, both old and new, in the Sculpture Court at 3:30 p.m.

    This concert, to which the public is welcome, is given in connection with the major fall exhibition, EVERYDAY LIFE IN CHINA, which opens on September 17 and will remain on view through November 7.

    The music of present-day China will be presented by the Chinese People’s Chorus which was organized in the summer of 1941 in the New York City. It is composed of Chinese laundrymen, restaurant workers, printers, etc. They are under the directorship of Liu Liang-mo, the originator of the Mass Singing movement in China. They made a set of records with Paul Robeson, entitled “Chee-Lai – Songs of New China.” The Chorus has also broadcast, shortwave under the supervision of the Office of War Information, to China and to South America. In this country, the Chinese People’s chorus has made many broadcasts, and has given many concerts and benefits in behalf of United China Relief.

    The music of old China will be played and sung by Mr. Yun Gee the eminent Chinese painter, who now makes his home in New York. The traditional music of his native country has long been a hobby of Mr. Gee’s and he is a skilled performer on many instruments.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 7-9/1943, 113.
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  • October 18, 1943 The Brooklyn Museum has announced that the exhibition, EVERYDAY LIFE IN CHINA, has been extended through Sunday, November 14th.

    In connection with the exhibition, EVERYDAY LIFE IN CHINA, the Brooklyn Museum will present a program of Chinese Theatrical Entertainment on Sunday, October 24th, at 3:30 p.m. This entertainment is open to the public.

    The Little Theatre Cooperative, under the direction of Denise Abbey, will present in pantomime, “The Legend of the Willow Plate,” one of the most famous of the Chinese legends. This performance will be given in typical Chinese manner, the Property Man shuffling through the play, placing and retrieving props. A demonstration of Chinese sword dancing by Chin Wan will follow. Mr. Wan is the only performer now in this country of these traditional dances of ancient China. He danced at the Chinese Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair in 1940, and has since devoted his talents to the cause of United China Relief.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1942 - 1946. 10-12/1943, 127.
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