Not Just Curious Objects: The China Visual Arts Project Archive

McNally, A. 2018. Not Just Curious Objects: The China Visual Arts Project Archive. Journal of Design History. 31 (4), p. 383–394. https://doi.org/10.1093/jdh/epy031

TitleNot Just Curious Objects: The China Visual Arts Project Archive
TypeJournal article
AuthorsMcNally, A.
Abstract

The University of Westminster’s China Visual Arts Project was founded in the 1970s as a teaching aid for its classes in Chinese language and politics. It comprises 843 posters acquired from Hong Kong and mainland China, dating from the 1940s to the 1980s, alongside a wealth of books, objects and ephemera. While the posters have been exhibited and studied, the rest of the collection has received little attention, and the story of the collection itself has not been considered. The recent transfer of the collection to the University Archive has led to a reassessment of its origins, acquisition and use within the framework of archival values. Building on new interviews with the collection’s founder, this article examines how the collection was created, catalogued and managed, and discusses how this information can be used to create a new context for viewing the collection. This article discusses how managing the collection as an archive, as opposed to a ‘special collection’, can enable it to reflect the history of the University as much as it does the society which created the objects themselves.

Keywordsarchives
China
propaganda
JournalJournal of Design History
Journal citation31 (4), p. 383–394
ISSN0952-4649
Year2018
PublisherOxford University Press
Accepted author manuscript
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/jdh/epy031
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1093/jdh/epy031
Publication dates
Published21 Sep 2018

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Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/q8z5w/not-just-curious-objects-the-china-visual-arts-project-archive


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