Power and Perspective


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Early Photography in China

Edited by Karina H. Corrigan and Stephanie H. Tung; With Bing Wang and Tingting XU

View Inside Format: HC - Paper over Board
Price: $60.00
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A critical reconsideration of the history of photography that explores how commerce and conflict fueled its practice in nineteenth-century China

Photography’s development as a new form of art and technology coincided with profound changes in the way China engaged with the world in the nineteenth century. The medium evolved in response to war, trade, travel, and a desire for knowledge about an unfamiliar place. Power and Perspective provides a rich account of the exchanges among photographers, artists, patrons, and subjects in the treaty port cities that connected China and the West. Drawing primarily from the Peabody Essex Museum’s historic and largely unpublished collection of photographs, this generously illustrated volume examines the confrontations and collaborations that shaped the adoption and practice of photography in China. Offering an original reassessment of the colonial legacy of the medium, Power and Perspective addresses photography’s representations of racial hierarchy and its entanglement with histories of European imperialism in nineteenth-century China.

Distributed for the Peabody Essex Museum

Exhibition Schedule:

Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
(September 24, 2022–April 2, 2023)

Karina H. Corrigan is associate director–collections and the H.A. Crosby Forbes Curator of Asian Export Art, and Stephanie H. Tung is the Byrne Family Curator of Photography, both at the Peabody Essex Museum.


Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA
(September 24, 2022–April 2, 2023)

ISBN: 9780300263633
Publication Date: September 20, 2022
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Peabody Essex Museum
340 pages, 10 x 11
300 color illus., incl. 1 gatefold
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