Qing Dynasty Peking: Thomas Child's Photographs at Mishkin Gallery
First-time showing in NYC of rare photos September 23 - October 25
Thomas Child, No. 182 Bride and Bridegroom, 1870s, Albumen silver print, 8 ½ x 11”
NEW YORK, NY- September 19, 2016 -— Baruch College presents the exhibition Qing Dynasty Peking: Thomas Child’s Photographs at the Mishkin Gallery from September 23 to October 25. The gallery is free and open to the public. An opening reception will take place on Thursday, September 22 from 6-8 p.m.
Rare early photographs of Peking (Beijing) by Thomas Child, from the Stephan Loewentheil Historical Photography of China Collection, will be exhibited for the first time in New York.
Qing Dynasty Peking: Thomas Child’s Photographs, curated by Stacey Lambrow, features a selection of more than 40 original nineteenth-century albumen silver prints. These views of Peking (Beijing), made in the 1870s and 1880s, are from the earliest comprehensive photographic survey of the ancient city. During his nearly two decades as a resident of Peking, Child produced the most extensive photographic documentation of the city and its environs. The images depict the architecture, monuments, people, and culture of Peking (Beijing) during the early years of photography in late imperial China. Child’s photographs offer a unique glimpse into the country’s rich cultural past.
Among the highlights of the show is a photograph of a Bride and Bridegroom (1870s) in traditional Chinese dress. It is one in a series of three images Child took pertaining to late Qing dynasty wedding customs. The woman in this photograph is the daughter of Zeng Goufan, a high-ranking official of the Han dynasty. Descendants of Zeng Goufan will attend the opening reception of the exhibition to see the photograph of their ancestor’s wedding for the first time.
The photographs included in the exhibition are often the only records of buildings and sites that were later altered or destroyed. Due to historical factors, a scarcity of scholarship, and the fact that very few of Child’s photographs have survived, there has never been an exhibition in New York devoted to the photographer’s work. Child was also a pioneering documentarian, producing printed labels with descriptive text to accompany his photographs. It is evident from his photographs and their labels that he took great care to understand the long history and culture of the Chinese people. Child learned to speak Chinese, and he spent time among Chinese residents while he was in Peking, sharing with them his knowledge of the art of photography.
The Mishkin Gallery is located at 135 E. 22nd Street Manhattan. Gallery hours are Monday – Friday, noon to 5 pm; Thursday, noon to 7 pm. The gallery is free and open to the public. For questions about the gallery, call Sandra Kraskin at (646) 660-6652.
About the Stephan Loewentheil Historical Photography of China Collection
The Stephan Loewentheil Historical Photography of China Collection, based in New York, is the largest holding of historical photographs of China in private hands.
About Baruch College:
Baruch College is a senior college in the City University of New York (CUNY) with a total enrollment of more than 18,000 students, who represent 164 countries and speak more than 129 languages. Ranked among the top 15% of U.S. colleges and the No. 4 public regional university, Baruch College is regularly recognized as among the most ethnically diverse colleges in the country. As a public institution with a tradition of academic excellence, Baruch College offers accessibility and opportunity for students from every corner of New York City and from around the world. For more about Baruch College, go to http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/.
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