Patterns of Patronage in Qing Beijing: A New Map
Convenors: Michele Matteini (NYU/IFA), Stephen Whiteman (Courtauld Institute of Art)
Proposal for Association for Asian Studies Annnual Meeting, Seattle, WA, 25–28 March, 2021
In the study of Qing art, Beijing has often been described as the stronghold of conservative artistic trends or the stage of spectacular courtly fantasies. Certainly the court’s immense resources defined much of what was created or came through the capital, but the city’s status as an artistic community and network in its own right is not well understood. Recent scholarship reveals that the artistic landscape of Qing Beijing was less homogeneous than previously thought and was shaped by the interaction and competition of different social forces, in which the court was but one agent. To draw a different map of Qing Beijing, this panel asks what other institutional or private spaces existed for the creation and circulation of art in the capital and what were the relationships among them. Questions to be considered could include: the activity of artists between court and private patrons; the role of imperial princes as taste-makers or collectors; art collections at religious institutions; the sponsorship of independent artists by dealers at the Liulichang market; temple fairs, celebratory parades, and other occasions for displaying art in public spaces; and art production and entertainment in Southern City’s opera houses, among others.