AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW
by Morris Rossabi
The arts of China yield vivid and appealing insights about its economy, politics, religions, society, history, and culture. They offer a remarkable guide to the development of Chinese civilization. Students can scarcely gain a better introduction to Chinese culture than by examining its works of art. Many Chinese, after all, consider these artifacts as the most exemplary and beautiful products of their civilization. Yet in addition to their beauty, they often reveal a great deal about Chinese values and beliefs. To be sure, each painter or artisan implants his or her individual character and craftsmanship on his or her own creation, but society’s attitudes and ideologies frequently emerge. The artist or craftsman, in turn, contributes his or her own innovations to Chinese civilization. In short, Chinese art reflects but also advances its civilization throughout history.
A PASSIONATE JOURNEY OF COLLECTING CHINESE ART
by France Pepper
William Daghlian’s apartment on West 107th Street in Manhattan resembled a museum that had been kept a secret for a long time. Every corner of the living room, bedroom, and study was covered with Chinese ceramics and sculpture, nestled together with volumes on Chinese art, and interspersed with African carvings. All the shelves in the bathroom and kitchen were also taken over by Chinese ‘pots’. There was just enough room to squeeze a Steinway B Grand piano into the living room, so that Mr. Daghlian could practice, play, teach his private students, and hold his weekly music performance class.