Friday, April 11, 2008



I am putting on my website four additions to the "Responses and Reminiscences" section (found under "Writings of J.C.") These are:

52. Tessai, the Temple, and Three Bishops
53. How the Train Scroll Came Into Being
54. Ed Schafer and Three Chopin Barcarolles
55. Sôgenga: A Modest Exhibition, An Opportunity

All four are, I think, entertaining, in some part amusing, in part even instructive; I recommend them to browsers. The one on Ed Schafer will call up fond memories in those who knew him, and give some sense of why he was so respected and loved to those who didn't. The one on the Train Scroll is insufficient because it doesn't include pictures of the work, but a younger colleague intends to write a learned article about it and publish good reproductions of it, so we will have to wait for that.

These "Reminiscences" are taking on the character of a topically-arranged autobiography, and are the only writing of the kind that I mean to do. I believe they are more interesting and useful (to the history of our field, Chinese/Japanese painting studies) than the chronological kind of autobiography would be. If any readers have suggestions of topics I haven't yet written about and should, please send them to me, using the "response" system of these blogs, or else my email address:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


This blog is mainly to announce the addition of some more CLPs, old lectures and papers, to my website. Responses that come in through the "contact" box and otherwise indicate that these are being read and used by quite a few people, and it seems worthwhile to make more of them accessible. These will be put on as pdf files, downloadable and readable that way—I don't have them in digitized form, only old typescripts or printed pages. The ones that will be added in the near future are:

- CLP 5, “Some Prolix and Commonsensical Remarks on Chinese Art Theory/” This was a discussant paper for a conference on "Theories of the Arts in China," and was printed as an appendix to "The Barnhart-Cahill-Rogers Correspondence, 1981." I put it on the website (along with two other appendices, CLP 183 and 184, see below) for those who haven't access to that publication.

- CLP 15, "Five Notable Figures in the Early Period of Chinese Painting Studies." Paper for College Art Assn. session, 1991, with reminiscences and appreciations of: Archibald Wenley, Osvald Sirén, Laurence Sickman, Shûjirô Shimada, and Max Loehr. Later pages, added when I expanded this into a lecture, deal with other notables.

- CLP 87, "Types of Text-Object Relationships in Chinese Art." Written as a keynote address for an international congress held in Kyoto in 1983, among other things warning against facile Chinese formulations equating painting and poetry etc.

- CLP 183. Introductory remarks to seminar, January 1982. Brief methodological statement (still another), with cautions.

- CLP 184, "The Five Faults in Chinese Painting Studies." Written with facetious intent, parodying lists of this kind in old Chinese texts, but also serious in their message.

CLP 9 and 26, long promised but held up by technical problems, will be appearing soon. (This begins to sound like "Previews of Coming Attractions.")

CYCTIE Part 1, my non-scholarly writings—comic verses, faculty highjinks etc.—was missing for a long time; now it is there in two versions. The downloadable pdfs are in four parts (CYCTIE 1, Part 1 to Part 4); the whole text is also there as a website text, click on CYCTIE Part One (spelled out). But don't—it's not only devoid of indents and other formatting, but also entirely underlined, very unpleasant. We'll try to fix this.

Also: Two more "Reminiscences" will soon be added to that series; keep watching. One is "How the Train Scroll Came Into Being," an account of how the artist William Lewis and I, with help from others, created a seriously-comic handscroll painting with lots of attached inscriptions as a present for Max Loehr in 1952; the other is "Ed Schafer and Three Chopin Barcarolles." I can promise that both are entertaining stories, bringing back amusing and moving episodes from the past, and are worth your attention.

I end this one with a happy note: My long-delayed book, now titled Pictures for Use and Pleasure: Vernacular Painting in High Qing China, written originally (2002-5) for Jim Peck's "Culture and Civilization of China" series, dropped from that series and eventually rejected by Yale University Press, much rewritten, has now been accepted for publication by the University of California Press in Berkeley. Publication is projected for October, 2009. If all goes well, it be followed by a smaller book, probably my last, tentatively titled Chinese Erotic Painting, which at one point was a long Chapter 6 to PUP but was removed and expanded for separate publication. (For anticipations of this, see CLP 55 and 158.)