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246 pages with 82 colour and 12 monochrome pictures, 17×24 cm, Hardcover

ISBN 978-3-496-01624-3

39,00 € [D]

 
Anna Grasskamp

Objects in Frames

Displaying Foreign Collectibles in Early Modern China and Europe

Derzeit nicht lieferbar. Erschienen September 2019

Early modern collections: China and Europe in comparison  

Anna Grasskamp investigates display practices of the sixteenth and seventeenth century in China and Europe. The book provides an in-depth analysis of the processes through which foreign artifacts and natural objects were framed in early modern collections.

Material exchanges between China and Europe have a long history in which complex culturally defined processes of object appropriation play a role.
Anna Grasskamp investigates display practices of the sixteenth and seventeenth century in China and Europe providing an in-depth analysis of the processes through which foreign artifacts and natural objects were framed in early modern collections. While the first two chapters focus on the appropriation of artifacts through the examples of porcelain vessels and scientific instruments in metal mounts, the book’s later chapters analyze the staging of foreign nature in Renaissance and Ming collecting through the case of coral.

The author
Anna Grasskamp is a Research Assistant Professor at the Academy of Visual Arts of the
Hong Kong Baptist University and associate member of the Exzellenzcluster »Asien und Europa im globalen Kontext« at the University of Heidelberg.

Keywords
Transcultural art history, material culture studies, Sino-European exchange, framing, cabinet of curiosity, porcelain, astronomical instruments, coral

„ … there is a lot to learn from Anna Grasskamp’s wide-ranging and well-researched book. She opens up a wealth of lesser studied artefacts, and her interpretations prove how enlightening a broad perspective on materials and material practices can be.“
[Ricarda Brosch, in: Orientalistische Literaturzeitung]

Grasskamp has taken on a very difficult assignment – to examine the particularity of these artefacts in their historical and cultural contexts while linking her analysis to the still-developing field of frame studies. That she succeeds so well is a cause for celebration. By opening up the discussion to the question of non-pictorial frames, she has at once broadened our understanding of the role of the frame, while offering valuable insights into a specialist field. … Perhaps, most importantly, her analysis introduces key questions that are central to contemporary debates around transculturality, cultural contact and ethnicity. For this reason alone Objects in Frames is a welcome addition to the literature of collecting and the practices of display in the early modern period.”
[Paul Duro, in: Art History 44,5 (2021): 1080-1083.]

It is hard to find a study that compares so evenly the Chinese and the European context … Objects in Frames consistently contributes to the current global and comparative studies, is aware of the recent methodological innovations, and considers artefacts and their materiality. It re-contextualizes their production and usage, and highlights the variety and importance of cultural exchanges and hybridization in the early modern period.
[Elisa Frei, in: Reformation & Renaissance Review (2021): 190-191.]

Grasskamp’s contribution to global approaches for the early modern era certainly offers an example of ways to move forward methodologically and theoretically. The attentiveness of lexicology – how and why words were used to describe things within very specific spheres of usage – is a model worth emulating. (…) Grasskamp effectively studies European and Chinese collecting practices on their own terms, providing a rich and thought-provoking study on the interaction between people and things, art and nature, frames and framed.
[Leah R. Clark, in: Oxford Art Journal (2021): 1-5.]

It is rare to have such a deeply researched book drawing as much on Chinese sources, materials, and collections as it does on their European equivalents. This is an important book on early modern objects and their frames and scholars of Chinese art and history should take as much note of it as scholars of European art, objects, collections, and history. While never losing sight of the important differences that made early modern Europe a very different place from Ming and Qing China, Grasskamp convincingly shows that these were connected worlds in which objects played key roles that can, and should, be analyzed with a shared set of interpretive tools. Grasskamp presents her readers with a fresh set of concepts for approaching analyses of the early modern. She draws on a wide-ranging body of theoretical materials to fortify her discussion. (…) Finally, this is a book with stunning illustrations. (…) Drawn from often inaccessible collections throughout Asia and Europe, they serve as a resource of their own, significantly expanding our canon of examples that demonstrate the complex ways in which objects negotiated the connections between early modern China and Europe. (…) this is a tremendous book that deserves to be read and enjoyed widely.
[Anne Gerritsen, in: Journal of Early Modern History 24 (2020), Nr. 6, 568-570.]

(...) High level of abstraction and complexity (…) A challenging read, the text offers many interesting insights into transcultural issues
[Ulla Houkjær, keramiske noter 50 (2019)]

The book positions itself as closely as possible to objects offering particularly revealing case studies and going beyond what is most commonly understood as 'appropriation' in an attempt to capture all the complexity and ambiguity of what is materially and theoretically at play in the relationship with the other, that is to say in the visual and material use of the other, from the specific angle of Eurasian interrelations. … Anna Grasskamp’s theory-based and empirical knowledge of the Chinese and European domains is crucial to advancing our knowledge in this area of study. … One crucially important aspect of Grasskamp’s case studies is her enlightening combination of artificial and natural objects. … The selected objects are off the beaten track and the illustrations are of high quality. … a study which allows for the most objective possible exploration of objects that have, despite their great epistemological value, not been sufficiently considered in historiography until now.
[Sabine du Crest, in: sehepunkte 20 (2020), Nr. 6]

Anna Grasskamp’s groundbreaking publication is a fascinating, comprehensive intercultural investigation (...). Her ambitious, in-depth academic study is scholarly in the best sense: it brings together a wealth of sources and documentary evidence, inventories, correspondence and visual material such as paintings, European as well as Chinese. Elaborate footnotes, helpful appendices and a comprehensive index and bibliography are particularly valuable for the specialist. Exceptionally well-illustrated, covering most of the objects discussed, this book is at once academic and a pleasure to explore for readers with a broader interest in transcultural studies (...). In today’s new age of globalization, Grasskamp’s study offers an instructive and inspiring contribution to the theme of global cultural transfer.“
[Eva Ströber, in: Aziatische Kunst 50 (2020), Nr. 3, 87-91.]  

Contents and abstracts

Index

Handout (pdf)


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Asien

China

Kunstgeschichte