SOAS University of London

Professor Shane McCausland Inaugural Lecture - The Art of Quitting Court: Parting Gifts from China’s Last Emperor

Shane McCausland

Date: 7 December 2017Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 7 December 2017Time: 9:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery

Type of Event: Inaugural Lecture

Live music begins at 6pm.  Lecture will follow at 6:30pm.

Part of the SOAS 2017-18 lecture series entitled 'A World Turned Upside Down', Shane McCausland's inaugural lecture explores the agency of art at the court of China's deposed Last Emperor, Henry Puyi, in the Warlord Era of 1920s China. It delves into two artworks, an album of flower paintings and an inscribed fan, presented by Puyi to his Scottish tutor, Sir Reginald Johnston, before Johnston left China to become professor of Chinese at SOAS in 1931. These objects provide an entree into the disordered world of the Manchu royalists and their Japanese protectors, following a coup in Beijing in 1924 that led to the young ex-emperor's expulsion at gunpoint from the Forbidden City.

At this event we will also celebrate the signing of a loan agreement between the Sir Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art and SOAS covering the Percival David Library, study collection and Sparks archive. Once fully catalogued, the intention is to return the collection to public use, as well as to make the study collection available to SOAS students.

Shane McCausland was made Percival David Professor of the History of Art at SOAS in 2015. He first joined SOAS as a postdoctoral fellow in 1999. In 2004 he became Curator of East Asian Art and then Head of Collections at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin, before returning to SOAS in 2009. As an undergraduate he read Oriental Studies (Chinese) at Cambridge University. He was awarded his doctorate by Princeton University in 2000, with a dissertation on the pivotal Chinese scholar-artist, Zhao Mengfu (1254-1322), supervised by Wen C. Fong. He has curated exhibitions and published widely on Chinese art. His most recent book is The Mongol Century: Visual Cultures of Yuan China, 1271-1368 (Reaktion). 

This event is organised by SOAS in association with the Sir Percival David Foundation of Chinese Art and made possible in part through the Foundation's support.

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