Recarving China’s Past


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Art, Archaeology and Architecture of the "Wu Family Shrines"

Cary Y. Liu, Michael Nylan, and Anthony Barbieri-Low; With an essay by Michael Loewe and contributions by other scholars

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Price: $75.00
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The “Wu Family Shrines,” one of the most important cultural monuments of early China, comprise approximately fifty stone slabs from the so-called Wu cemetery in Shandong province. Depicting emperors and kings, heroic women, filial sons, and mythological subjects, these famous carved and engraved reliefs may have been intended to reflect such basic themes as loyalty to the emperor, filial piety, and wifely devotion; centuries later, they vividly bring to life the art, social conditions, and Confucian ideology of the Eastern Han.
This generously illustrated book examines the stone slabs and their rubbings as artifacts with a complex cultural history from the second century to the present, and addresses questions about the traditional identification of the structures as Han dynasty shrines of the Wu family. Written by a team of distinguished scholars in the fields of Chinese art and history, the book includes a novel examination of Han burial items in relation to burial belief, pictorial carvings, and funerary architecture.

Distributed for the Princeton University Art Museum

Exhibition Schedule:

Princeton University Art Museum, March 5 – June 26, 2005

Cary Y. Liu is curator of Asian art, Princeton University Art Museum. Michael Nylan is professor, Department of History, University of California-Berkeley. Anthony Barbieri-Low is assistant professor of early Chinese history, University of Pittsburgh. Michael Loewe is professor emeritus and director of Oriental studies emeritus, Cambridge University.


Princeton University Art Museum, March 5 – June 26, 2005

"This impressive volume attempts to consolidate the state of knowledge and makes it clear that as many questions remain unanswered as answered...fascinating and clearly written..."---Craig Bunch, The Art Book

Winner of the Honorable Mention for the 2005 George Wittenborn Memorial Book Award given  by the Art Libraries Society of North America
ISBN: 9780300107975
Publication Date: May 11, 2005
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Princeton University Art Museum
512 pages, 9 1/2 x 12
200 b/w + 60 color illus.
Outside In

Chinese x American x Contemporary Art

Jerome Silbergeld; With Cary Y. Liu and Dora C. Y.

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Rethinking Recarving

Ideals, Practices, and Problems of the "Wu Family Shrines" and Han China

Cary Y.

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Age of Empires

Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties

Zhixin Jason Sun; With contributions by I-tein Hsing, Cary

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