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Monday, 14 May 2018, 1:00PM - 2:00PM
Museum of London

China: Art, Power and Revolutions, 1950-1976

Professor Craig Clunas

The establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949 gave Chinese artists a government that had explicit policies for the arts, seeing them as an essential part of the creation of ‘new China’. Resources were put into the support of art and artists, opening up new possibilities at the same time as other possibilities that were uncongenial to Communist Party policy were closed down. 

The consequences of fierce artistic debates could be expulsion from the visible art world and the silencing of some points of view. An increase in party control of the arts, linked with adulation of the Great Leader, led to very widely-reproduced images that played a part in the unprecedented stress and upheaval.

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Professor Clunas was Visiting Gresham Professor of Chinese Art in 2017-18. He is Professor of History of Art at the University of Oxford. He is a historian of the art and history of China and focuses particularly on the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

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