Recent acquisitions have substantially added to the Chinese Political Poster / Prints collection.

34 nianhua (Chinese New Year ) prints from the 1949-1952 period present new but related images. This will remain a ‘work-in-progress’ since with the prints also came a small but interesting selection of related books from the period but published in Eastern Europe. The prints are on-line now but in several instances details are still to be provided regarding their makers and titles.

These books include a number on the cartoons produced in China during the Mao period, an important but less well-known aspect of Chinese art at the period.

To expand the coverage of that period further, we draw your attention to a small collection of photographs we took whilst attending the Guangzhou Trade Fair in April 1977. Mao Zedong had died just 7 months before and the country was still in a state of confusion.

The damning of the ‘Gang of Four’ was well underway and the posters pasted on the walls or in display cabinets left little doubt as to the anger there was in China towards this quartet. These hand-drawn posters reveal much but very few have made it to print and even less into books.

We took over 100 photographs of these posters, as well pictures of street and other scenes in the city. They were taken with an element of risk to our personal safety, since on several occasions we had to flee to avoid receiving a thrashing.

The most gratifying aspect of presenting the nianhua prints and aspects of the Chinese Offerings collection is that in many ways they are very similar in use and production by much the same people with only the time and location being different.

Most literature on the origin of the nianhua prints refers to door and kitchen gods found in family homes . Little is mentioned about the prints used in temple festivals though they were similarly produced.


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