Latest Work

  • Conclusion Conclusion
    VI Conclusion It is time to draw back and look, if not at the whole Hyakusen, at as much of him as we have managed to illuminate in this study. Dark areas remain, and doubtless many distortions, but...
    Read More...

Latest Blog Posts

  • Bedridden Blog
    Bedridden Blog   I am now pretty much confined to bed, and have to recognize this as my future.  It is difficult even to get me out of bed, as happened this morning when they needed to...
    Read More...

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

CLP 166: 2004-5 Lectures given where "Mists and Clouds" exhibition of my family collection was being shown: U. Wisconsin

Lectures for "Mists and Clouds" Exhibition


Madison lecture, Feb. 4 2004

Great pleasure to be here, especially because I stand here in so many roles--old friend and colleague of one, Julia Murray, former teacher of one, Gene Phillips; father and father-in-law of two, Nick and Kay; Grandpa of (-) as well as of (-) who were too young to come. Not often one can play so many roles at once. Equally importantly, it's a pleasure to be here on the occasion of this exhibition of our family collection, and to be speaking about my experiences in bringing it together--and now, seeing much of it disperse. The "Mists and Clouds" of the exhibition title refers to an essay by the 11th century scholar-statesman Su Shi, in which he advised that the paintings and works of calligraphy one collected should be thought of as passing before one's eyes like mists and clouds, and should not be permitted to get their barbs into you, which is what would happen if one tried to hang onto them.

My talk tonight will be informal and anecdotal, and will generally follow the theme of the exhibition: how a scholar-teacher who is also an active collector, and who kept the family collection at the University Art Museum (its old name) for constant use by himself and students, was able to integrate his collecting with his scholarship and his teaching, to the benefit of all three. Or so he hoped and believed, and still does.

As a prefatory note, I should say that the ptgs I'm talking about are mostly in the exhibition, and mostly represent the best of the collection. And in talking only about these, I might give the impression of boasting that I never made mistakes. That would be far from the truth--I could give another lecture on bad purchases, which turned out to be less than genuine, or otherwise a mistake. The collection also includes some study material, minor but interesting paintings, even some of insecure authenticity--these, too, are sometimes useful in teaching. And a few of these have found their way into the exhibition--the selection wasn't mine, although I gave advice.

S,S. Lo P'ing, 1799 Portrait of Artist's Friend I-an. (This is one of the ptgs that unfortunately couldn't be included in the exhibition.) My collecting began during my Fulbright year in Japan, 1954-55. During most of year, I took every opportunity to look at all the public and private collections I could get access to, often with great introductions from my mentor Shujiro Shimada (who gave name Ching Yuan Chai to collection, name by which it's been known.) As I went around the great collections--Sumitomo, Takashima, Hashimoto, others--I assumed, without asking, that good Ch ptgs must all be extremely expensive, far beyond what a Fulbright scholar's stipend would allow; for me to acquire anything good myself seemed beyond dreaming. I'd spent a year at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, and knew what they paid for their acquisitions of Chinese paintings. Then, after my Fulbright year was more than half over, I met through an introduction an old Japanese professor of Chinese literature, Prof. Ueda, and was intro. by him, in turn, to the shops of several less-known but knowledgeable dealers and other outlets for Chinese paintings.

In going around among dealers, famous and obscure, I learned about what I came to call the "schools of fish" situation in the ptg market in Japan. (Describe: Mayuyama, Setsu, Kochukyo on upper level; others middle: Eda Bungado, Yushima Seido, Tajima Teishodo; others on lower levels. At these less prestigious sources, ptgs could be very cheap, w/o necessarily being lower in quality--unpub., no guarantees. Sometimes problems of condition. But if you trusted your eyes, could find bargains, good ptgs by known artists in the low hundreds of dollars, what other Fulbright families were paying to buy tansu or ceramics. (I had no private funds to speak of then, never have had--most professors don't get rich.) My acquisitions in that first year included the ptgs by Lo P'ing and Wu Wei (the latter withdrawn from exhib.--will show next.)

I learned also something about my own evaluations of ptgs: going back over things I seen, I realized that many that I'd written in my notes as genuine, and now realized were potentially available, were ptgs I wouldn't especially want to own myself. And that there were others that I really wanted to have, at least for a time, in my possession. That perception, refined over many years of collecting and thinking through why these were desirable and those weren't, certainly had an effect on my scholarship, in which I've always tried to confront directly questions of value--on a level above a simple "I like it" or "I don't like it"--trying to analyze what in the ptg makes it successful, desirable, something one wants to have around for a long time. (Poor ptgs quickly become boring). Also, of course, selecting ptgs for purchase sharpened my eye for decisions about authenticity. And collecting gave me much greater access to dealers' holdings--they would bring out more pieces, and better pieces, knowing I was a prospective purchaser. Jap. dealers often hold out things to show only to their special customers; sometimes they won't sell a piece to an outsider until all of their regular circle of customers has seen it.

S,S. Wu Wei. Now owned by my then-wife Dorothy Cahill, as is the Lo P'ing. The collection is now owned by her and myself, with smaller groups of particularly good things owned by our children Nicholas and Sarah. This ptg was at the Yushima Seido (describe). Brought out from back room--I hadn't bought enough from them to reach this status. American ...

S,S. Story. Famous ptr-collector Chang Ta-ch'ien was in Tokyo--spent a lot of time with him in Japan--and I asked him to come with me to Yushima Seido to look at it. (etc.)

S,S. Two more sections, at beginning. I should explain here, before going on: great dif. bet. E. Asian brush ptg and European-American oil ptg is that the former is produced in vastly greater quantities--Tomioka Tessai, for instance, in 1924, is estimated by his grandson to have produced about 20,000 ptgs during his lifetime. Wu Wei, this artist, partly because he worked fast, was very prolific. And lesser works by prominent artists, if unknown and unpublished, and bought through small dealers (no guarantees), could be surprisingly cheap. What I came to understand is that you could go to Tokyo Nat'l Mus. and see work by some artist you especially admired, then go out on market and find another by same artist that you could acquire w/o being rich. Not so with Fragonard or van Gogh or Matisse.

S,S. During the period from the later 50s through the 70s, I found occasion at least once a year for regular travels in E. Asia, research trips mostly; often w. my good friend the late Hugh Wass, who lived for years in Japan before teaching at Mills College in Oakland. We would meet in Tokyo, go on to Kansai, then to Taiwan, HK, following up scholarly projects, seeing exhibitions and collectors, but also dealers. My pursuit of Chinese ptgs (and occasionally Japanese) came to be the cloak-and-dagger side of my life--keeping on the move, frequenting unlikely places, matching wits w. wily dealers, some of whom wanted to cheat me or sell me bad ptgs, while I wanted to take advantage of some blind spot of theirs to buy a fine ptg cheap. Part of the excitement, of course, was risking our limited funds. I can't recall these times and these travels without poignant twinges of nostalgia.

What is now on the screen is the scroll now recognized as a major work by Chang Lu, Su Tung-p'o Returning to the Hanlin Academy, now owned by my daughter Sarah. One Tokyo dealer, who had earlier been established in Beijing, was Sammy Lee (still alive and active in Los Angeles), who has a good eye for ceramics, lacquer, objects, didn't deal in ptgs. (etc.--story. Visited with Hugh.). Left it with friend Cheng Chi, himself a major collector, to be mtd by Meguro as handscroll; w/o asking me, Cheng Chi added a colophon (insc. mtd after ptg) saying it was definitely by Wu Wei. Good try, but not right attribution.

S --. I myself took it at first to be a work by the Ming figure master Tu Chin, because I'd found a reproduction of a scroll w. more or less the same subject and composition on which the artist (Fang Hsun) writes that he's copying a scroll by Tu Chin. But: giving a seminar on Zhe-school ptg in Ming:

S,S. One of students argued in seminar paper that it wasn't by Tu Chin, it was by Chang Lu. And as soon as comparisons made, it was obvious she was right. (Always encouraged students to argue agst my opinions, so long as they could back up their arguments.)

- S. Detail. Point out similarities.

S --. Another Chang Lu ptg, alb. leaf in Shanghai Museum. Very consistent. I trained students to recognize individual styles of artists, regional styles, large period styles; they had to pass a connoisseurship exam, as part of their Ph.D. qualifying exams. All that pretty outmoded now (still stronger in Asian art than other fields, I think.)

S,S. Hua Yen, 18th cent., Animals Fleeing from Brushfire. a ptg now much admired and reproduced. But for quite a long time it was hanging in the shop of a NY dealer, nobody would touch it. I recommended to Freer--John Pope, then director, didn't like. "Bad brushwork." This was before I had developed argument abt how Ch artists often had to slip into what critics denounce as bad brushwork to achieve effects they wanted--well know example is what's called Ch'an or Zen ptg. This is now owned by Nicholas Cahill (studied archaeology at Univ. of Michigan, later at Berkeley; now teaches here, book out recently from Yale U. Press.)

-- S. Ptg in private col. in Taipei, by? Hua Yan. Same subject, but far less moving, lacks immediacy, coherence, of other. . .

I'll show a few other things in exhib., only identifying them and adding brief commentary, while continuing w. theme of the lecture: the scholar-teacher as collector.

S,S. Lu Chi, Nick's. Cranbook Academy auction.
S,S. Ch'en Lo, from Contag Collection. BAM now.
S,S, Ch'en Ch'uan, Gazing at Moon.
S,S. Kung Hsien, ca. 1665, also Nick's. LS done for famous poet Wang Shih-chen. Was centerpiece in article I wrote on early styles of Kung Hsien.
There were, of course, ethical issues raised by my being a museum curator, and later a teacher, while collecting ptgs myself. Some even feel this is bad idea.

-- S. (Another, 1688, late work, also Nick's.) During my time at Freer, always showed my acquisitions to Director & Vice-Director (Archibald Wenley and John Pope, most of the time) and recommended the ones I thought to be of Freer quality and importance; they could decide which Freer would take (at price I paid, of course). Happened several times. But more often, even when I recommended the ptg to them, they would decide agst it, say I could keep it. All this time, of course, I was also searching out really top things for Freer to acquire, without thinking of pursuing them myself.

S,S. Huang Shen, alb of Beggars & Street Entertainers. Some of my colleagues, as I say, felt strongly that a scholar-teacher shouldn't himself collect, because of possible conflicts of interest. But there are other notable cases of scholar-teachers who have had collections themselves: Cary Welch at Harvard, Max Loehr (on smaller scale), others. Wen Fong did for a time; but for family, with all ending up as gifts (I believe) to Princeton Art Museum or Met. , so collecting for good cause. I always believed, and argued, that under certain self-imposed rules it was OK to do, and that the benefits to myself & students in training their eyes, allowing them to handle real works of art (which wouldn't otherwise have been possible at Berkeley, on any large scale) more than offset the disadvantages and dangers.

S,S. Two more leaves. After my move from the Freer to Berkeley to be a professor, less a problem, since Univ. Art Mus. had no funds for acquisition of Asian art. (Some generous gifts, later; and fumpon sales. Also, persuading people with large incomes, notably two doctors, to buy pieces I'd find in Asia, give them to us with somewhat larger but quite honest appraisals, and come off fine in their income taxes--perfectly legitimate game that was very beneficial to both parties.

S --. Huang Shen, big one, prob. orig. screen. Before leaving this artist, want to tell how this ptg came into my possession. (Story)

S,S. Ch'en Hung-shou, Su Wu and Li Ling. (won't tell stories at length.) (Visit w. C.C.Wang, Anne Burkus, trade.) (She's teaching now at U. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign--just pub. article on another work of this artist, on whom she wrote dissertation.) Work of 1630s, when Ch'en production appears to have had a more commercial character, worked w. help of assistants, some of it rather heavy-handed. But:

S,S. Ptg w. more subtleties than appear at first--another advantage to owning a ptg is the familiarity you can develop with it, hanging it on wall.
S,S. Quickly: album by him, in exhib. Wasn't sure myself if it was genuine, for years--acquired for nothing in bookstore. But publication of several others, one in Gugong, w. colophons by important people--
S,S. In early years, playing between "art" and "craft"--did both. Like designs for lacquer--
S,S. Ts'ui Tzu-chung, Farewell Meeting in Apricot Gathering, 1638. Acquired in Japan, from Eda Bungado; now Nicholas's. Subject was identified by Judy Andrews, who took on certain aspects of this artist's work as her dissertation topic. (She now teaches at Ohio State U.) (Describe)
S --. This apparatus, a mystery to me for a long time, was identified for me by a dealer-friend Kobayashi Katsuhiro of Tekisendo in Tokyo: (describe)

S,S. Sun Chun-tse. Another work that was on NY market for a long time, w/o finding a buyer; this was bought in 1968, after I had moved to Berkeley, and now belongs to Sarah Cahill. Symposium in Cleveland in that year on art of Yuan dynasty (etc.) Ended among "World Treasures of Art" at Osaka World's Fair.

-- S. Several signed works by Sun Chun-tse are preserved in Japan; highly regarded there, Important Cultural Properties etc.. Chinese collectors, with their obsession with big names, didn't want works by minor masters such as Sun Chun-tse, so dealers obligingly removed original signatures, added those of Ma Yuan. Several ptgs of this kind have been preserved in Japan; this one came from China (know from mounting) but escaped by being falsely identified--label on outside says "Sung work, surely by Ma Yuan"--tried to obliterate signature w. stroke of ink, but still readable under strong light.

-- S. Signature matches exactly those on ptgs in Japan; so does style. So has become famous work.
S,S. Two Ma Yuans, Taipei
-- S. Tai Chin
S --. Sun Chun-tse again.

S,S. Another case of unnoticed signature, or in this case a seal, is this large ptg now in the BAM and recognized as major work by leading Zhe-school master Tai Chin. (Story). Four-char. title, "Summer Trees Casting Shade," in court calligraphy. Ptg of this title by Tai Chin recorded as having been in col. of Yen Sung, prime minister who was overthrown in 1565; could be this ptg.

S -- Closer detail: house among trees. Close resemblance to:
S -- . One in Shanghai Museum. Same seal appears on both! altho very dif. in sizes--matches. Once real authorship is realized, similarities seem so obvious one wonders how he could have missed them--

S,S. Continuing with theme of using ptgs in seminars: I held Wen C-m seminar in 1976-77,acquired a good, although modest, ptg by him while seminar was going on. From the col. of Huang Pao-hsi, noted HK collector; Huang sold many of his best ptgs at auction in NYC; I acquired this one then. But before buying, went over it carefully w. seminar, comparing to other works of artist around same time (Note way of formal repetitions, trees to mts above) We decided it was certainly authentic, and I bought it. Reached Berkeley in time for seminar to use.
S --. (Subject of ptg: done for young friend Wang Ch'ung who was studying for the exams there.)
S --. Insc., in Wen's famous hsiao-k'ai or small-standard script. Chiang Chao-shen, who did major study of Wen C-m, said when he saw it that he hadn't been sure (etc.) (some repair, filling in.)

S,S. Other Wen C-m had been reprod. in Siren's book, in Yamaguchi Col. in Japan; also came up for auction in NYC (long after seminar.) Leading Chinese authority on Ch. ptg in NYC just then, Xu Bangda, who was going about pronouncing things fake; did so for this, others wouldn't touch it. They were wrong, for reasons I could again point out, with time. Same kind of echoings of form: shapes in upper part
S -- repeated in lower, tops of trees. And so forth--lots of correspondences.
S --. Belongs in series of late works featuring groups of old coniferous trees; this is one in Cleveland,
S --. or well-known one in K.C., of which I have only detail slide. Smaller, on paper; same hand, same intelligence. Negative spaces ...

Cypresses were favorite subj. of artist; great old cypresses at Point Lobos, down near Carmel on California coast. I took seminar there; one of students was Chang Sing, daughter of Chang Ta-ch'ien, who did graduate work with me; we stayed at his house in Pebble Beach. (I took students regularly on outings, often overnight to Marin County, for spiritual recharging: to beach, or on what students called Long March.)

S.-- I had two Shitao seminars, one early (Rick Vinograd took), one late. First, again, coincided w. Dick Edwards Tao-chi exhib. I myself could never afford major Shitao, other than this lovely leaf, bought during my Fulbright year in Japan (not in exhib.)

S,S. But did acquire good late Shitao album for Univ. Art Museum, in trade w. C.C.Wang--had something he believed in, I didn't. Again, received it during time of exhib. (later one), worked through it, decided OK, agreed to his proposal for trade. (W/o purchase funds for Museum, had to be ingenious.)

S,S. These are two leaves from s, late works, which I acquired in curious way. Dealer in D.C.; accepted as study pieces. During seminar, brought them out, realized real thing (I had come to understand Shitao's late period in interim.) What to do? dealer long retired, didn't know how to reach. Not properly mine.

S,S. Two more leaves (of six). After consultation w. students, we put in auction, used money it brought to establish The Shitao Fund (etc.) But also made point: possible for genuine works by great artist to be undesirable. (Still upsets some people to say this abt Shitao. But it was something my students learned---)

S,S. This pairing I use only to tell another story: Orthodox LS seminar, 1969 or 1970, coincided w. Princeton exhib. & symposium, Earl Morse collection. Twd end, I had briefly in my possession, conveying it from CCW to Morse, two great ptgs : handscrolls by Wang Y-c and Wu Li. Brought to seminar and showed; after months of immersal in special values of this kind of ptg, these were breathtaking for seminar students. As it happened, rec'd at same time in mail a ptg by 18th cent. Japanese Nanga master Ikeno Taiga, from dealer in Japan. Brought it to show seminar. Their response was: Prof. Cahill, how can you buy such an awful ptg! They were by then so imbued w. values of Orthodox-school Ch ptg--brushwork, highly structured compositions, etc.--that they couldn't quickly shift aesthetic gears to appreciate Taiga. (Some people turn out to be altogether incapable, never wiil enjoy Taiga or Nanga or Jap. pg generally.)

-- S. Detail of Taiga (describe.). Like being a Beethoven enthusiast and not being able to appreciate Ravel. This brought home to seminar radical differences in criteria of value, fallacy of thinking that one can recognize "quality" in art of any period and kind. Part of my attempted training for students was to open their minds of diversity of kinds of ptg--like moving, to take an example from Western art, from Poussin to van Gogh in European oil ptg. Museum curators have to do it; scholars sometimes find it easier to hold on to their prejudices and blind spots. Nothing in Taiga ptg that Chinese could call good brushwork; rules it out, for many of them. But same true of much of Chan or Zen ptg,, other kinds rejected by Chinese.

S.S. Very fine LS ptg in Orthodox style in exhib., by Wang Hui; early work, when he was at best. Insc. by his mentor Wang Chien. Belongs to Nicholas.

S,S. Two sec'ns of another long handscroll version of the Wang-ch'uan Villa composition, also with sig. of Wang Yuan-ch'i, in exhib.; of course not by him. Bought in Japan, from dealer who knew it wasn't real Wang Y-c; didn't know who really painted it--I did, much less famous artist named Chang Chi-su, no reputation, but very fine.

S,S. Before concluding with two early paintings, I want to show a few works, all in exhib., by Jen Hsiung and Jen Po-nien, two 19th cent. masters who stand out as brilliant artists in a period that didn't produce more than a few. Jen Hsiung, who died young in 1851, painted figures in variety of styles--Ch'en Hung-shou, Huang Shen--

S,S. and beautiful-women pictures not so vapid as most from that period. This is very fine album by him. (Story: Taipei in winter-spring 1963--)
S,S. This ptg of pheasants on a rock, from 1850, using new technique (describe)--changes character of bird-and-flower ptg.

S,S. Jen Po-nien, active in Shanghai in 1880s-90s, was extremely versatile, prolific master who left a large, very impressive body of work. Singing Bird on Bamboo Branch, after Hua Yen, 1880;
S,S. Pair of album leaves, one representing the Ming ptr Hsu Wei. One of everybody's favorites.
S,S. Rarer: landscapes by him; this is one of largest, finest. (Describe) No insc. on this ptg, but
-- S. On a study sketch, hua-kao, dtd. 1885, he reveals that the composition is based on a painting by the late Ming master Ting Yun-p'eng that he used to own and has copied a number of times. One of few really original landscapes from 19th cent., in my view.

S,S. In 1982 we had seminar called Sogenga (explain). Small exhib. w. catalog, drawn from our olw collections (UAM + mine) plus dealers in Japan, mostly. Two of works in it: Wen Jih-kuan, Ma Yuan (now both in BAM).

S --. Famous work by Jih-kuan in Jap. col., ptd in 1291. Reproduced widely. Other unknown, unpub., except for minor exhib. cat. Japanese scholars tend to be conservative in their judgements, uneasy abt works that suddenly appear, not santified by previous publication by some established scholar. So other one stayed in hands of dealer until I acquired it (in complicated trade, again.)
S --. Detail. Buddhist assoc: from West, like Buddhism (Sakyamuni, Bodhidharma)
S --. Another, closer. Pinnacle in dev. of ink-monochrome ptg in China; absolutely free of any brush discipline, hand of artist, style--all of which would have detracted from success of image. Completely outside scholar-amateur ptg or wenrenhua; scarcely preserved in China. With such a ptg in front of you, you can talk to students and others about these qualities. One of my students, now well-estab. in museum career, is quoted in wall panel (Berkeley? here?) for this ptg telling how seeing real ptg i/o slides, and his almost visceral response to it, was factor in his career choice ...

S,.S. Lastly, the Ma Yuan ptg. Signed work; trimmed at bottom, sig. partly missing; upsets composition a bit. Was in Akaboshi col., along with several now-famous Sung ptgs; passed into col. of Matsunaga Jisai, founder of electric company, his Kinenkan. (etc.) Auction; dealer bought it from whom I'd acquired quite a lot in past, Heisando, Takahashi Taihei. Alb leaf w. similar subject in Palace Mus., Beijing

S --. Other ptgs by Ma Yuan of quiet scenes in nature w. birds; this is one in Japanese col. Another in Palace Mus.: egrets (add?) Indications of season: typical of So. Sung ptgs. Must have been one of his specialties.

Various features of ptg can be matched w. reliable Ma Yuan works; stepped recession marked by hilltops, dimming into distance, no texture;
S --. One in Cleveland Mus., similar subject, profoundly dif. otherwise. Some believe; I don't. (Point out things wrong.) In recent writings I've emphasized looking hard at Chinese paintings, seeing how they stand up as pictures.

As a general comment, to conclude, let me say that a big deficiency in Chinese ptg studies has been a weakness of some otherwise strong scholars and teachers in the practice of close visual engagement w. ptgs, careful comparisons and analyses. Coming myself from a museum background (curator at Freer before becoming professor) and studying mainly with a teacher who was strongly committed to a visual approach (Max Loehr), I worked very hard, during my three decades as scholar-teacher-collector at Berkeley, to inculcate what I took to be right habits of looking in my students--using for this purpose, along with other materials, ptgs in Ching Yuan Chai collection. I'm very glad that quite a lot of them are now finding their way into the BAM collection, a development that is celebrated in this exhibition, and others may well end up as long-term loans to the Evajhem (?). I trust they will be used in similar ways by my successors, and by Julia and her students, far into future

Ann Arbor Lecture

(Thanks to everybody.) Cannot come here without being filled with feelings of nostalgia for AA: First came nearly sixty years ago, in 1944, having just been inducted into the Army and sent to the Japanese Language School that was then located here. Here for graduate work in 1951-3. working with Max Loehr, Jim Plumer, others; back many times after that for lectures, exhibitions, symposia. This has been my second alma mater, along with Berkeley and U.C. Great pleasure to be welcomed back on the occasion of this exhibition of my family collection, and to be speaking about my experiences in bringing it together--and now, seeing much of it disperse. The "Mists and Clouds" of the exhibition title refers to an essay by the 11th century scholar-statesman Su Shi, in which he advised that the paintings and works of calligraphy one collected should be thought of as passing before one's eyes like mists and clouds, and should not be permitted to get their barbs into you, which is what would happen if one tried to hang onto them.

My talk today will be informal and anecdotal, and will generally follow the theme of the exhibition: how a scholar-teacher who is also an active collector, and who kept the family collection at the University Art Museum (its old name) for constant use by himself and students, was able to integrate his collecting with his scholarship and his teaching, to the benefit of all three. Or so he hoped and believed, and still does.

As a prefatory note, I should say that the ptgs I'm talking about are mostly in the exhibition, and mostly represent the best of the collection. And in talking only about these, I might give the impression of boasting that I never made mistakes. That would be far from the truth--I could give another lecture on bad purchases, which turned out to be less than genuine, or otherwise a mistake. The collection also includes some study material, minor but interesting paintings, even some of insecure authenticity--these, too, are sometimes useful in teaching. And a few of these have found their way into the exhibition--the selection wasn't mine, although I gave advice.

S,S. Lo P'ing, 1799 Portrait of Artist's Friend I-an. (This is one of the ptgs that unfortunately couldn't be included in the exhibition.) My collecting began during my Fulbright year in Japan, 1954-55. During most of year, I took every opportunity to look at all the public and private collections I could get access to, often with great introductions from my mentor Shujiro Shimada (who gave name Ching Yuan Chai to collection, name by which it's been known.) As I went around the great collections--Sumitomo, Takashima, Hashimoto, others--I assumed, without asking, that good Ch ptgs must all be extremely expensive, far beyond what a Fulbright scholar's stipend would allow; for me to acquire anything good myself seemed beyond dreaming. I'd spent a year at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, and knew what they paid for their acquisitions of Chinese paintings. Then, after my Fulbright year was more than half over, I met through an introduction an old Japanese professor of Chinese literature, Prof. Ueda, and was intro. by him, in turn, to the shops of several less-known but knowledgeable dealers and other outlets for Chinese paintings.

In going around among dealers, famous and obscure, I learned about what I came to call the "schools of fish" situation in the ptg market in Japan. (Describe: Mayuyama, Setsu, Kochukyo on upper level; others middle: Eda Bungado, Yushima Seido, Tajima Teishodo; others on lower levels. At these less prestigious sources, ptgs could be very cheap, w/o necessarily being lower in quality--unpub., no guarantees. Sometimes problems of condition. But if you trusted your eyes, could find bargains, good ptgs by known artists in the low hundreds of dollars, what other Fulbright families were paying to buy tansu or ceramics. (I had no private funds to speak of then, never have had--most professors don't get rich.) My acquisitions in that first year included the ptgs by Lo P'ing and wuWei (the latter in the exhib.--will show next.)

I learned also something about my own evaluations of ptgs: going back over things I seen, I realized that many hat I'd written in my notes as genuine, and now realized were potentially available, were ptgs I wouldn't especially want to own myself. And that there were others that I really wanted to have, at least for a time, in my possession. That perception, refined over manyyears of collecting and thinking through why these were desirable and those weren't, certainly had an effect on my scholarship, in which I've always tried to confront directly questions of value--on a level above a simple "I like it" or "I don't like it"--trying to analyze what in the ptg makes it successful, desirable, something one wants to have around for a long time. (Poor ptgs quickly become boring). Also, of course, selecting ptgs for purchase sharpened my eye for decisions about authenticity. And collecting gave me much greater access to dealers' holdings--they would bring out more pieces, and better pieces, knowing I was a prospective purchaser. Jap. dealers often hold out things to show only to their special customers; sometimes they won't sell a piece to an outsider until all of their regular circle of customers has seen it.

S,S. Wu Wei. Now owned by my then-wife Dorothy Cahill, as is the Lo P'ing. The collection is now owned by her and myself, with smaller groups of particularly good things owned by our children Nicholas and Sarah. This ptg was at the Yushima Seido (describe). Brought out from back room--I hadn't bought enough from them to reach this status. American ...

S,S. Story. Famous ptr-collector Chang Ta-ch'ien was in Tokyo--spent a lot of time with him in Japan--and I asked him to come with me to Yushima Seido to look at it. (etc.)

S,S. Two more sections, at beginning. I should explain here, before going on: great dif. bet. E. Asian brush ptg and European-American oil ptg is that the former is produced in vastly greater quantities--Tomioka Tessai, for instance, in 1924, is estimated by his grandson to have produced about 20,000 ptgs during his lifetime. Wu Wei, this artist, partly because he worked fast, was very prolific. And lesser works by prominent artists, if unknown and unpublished, and bought through small dealers (no guarantees), could be surprisingly cheap. What I came to understand is that you could go to Tokyo Nat'l Mus. and see work by some artist you especially admired, then go out on market and find another by same artist that you could acquire w/o being rich. Not so with Fragonard or van Gogh or Matisse.

S,S. During the period from the later 50s through the 70s, I found occasion at least once a year for regular travels in E. Asia, research trips mostlyp; often w. my good friend Hugh Wass, who lived for years in Japan before teaching at Mills College in Oakland. (And who was still working on a Ph.D. here, with encouragement from a very patient Dick Edwards, at the time of his early death.) We would meet in Tokhyo, go on to Kansai, then to Taiwan, HK, following up scholarly projects, seeing exhibitions and collectors, but also dealers. My pursuit of Chinese ptgs (and occasionally Japanese) came to be the cloak-and-dagger side of my life--keeping on the move, frequenting unlikely places, matching wits w. wily dealers, some of whom wanted to cheat me or sell me bad ptgs, while I wanted to take advantage of some blind spot of theirs to buy a fine ptg cheap. Part of the excitement, of course, was risking our limited funds.

What is now on the screen is the scroll now recognized as a major work by Chang Lu, Su Tung-p'o Returning to the Hanlin Academy, now owned by my daughter Sarah (she and Nick were both U.M. students at one time, as was Dorothy. Strong family connections.) One Tokyo dealer, who had earlier been established in Beijing, was Sammy Lee (still alive and active in Los Angeles), who is strong in ceramics, lacquer, objects, didn't deal in ptgs. (etc.--story). Left it with friend Cheng Chi, himself a major collector, to be mtd by Meguro as handscroll; w/o asking me, Cheng Chi added a colophon (insc. mtd after ptg) saying it was definitely by Wu Wei.

S --. I myself took it at first to be a work by the Ming figure master Tu Chin, because I'd found a reproduction of a scroll w. more or less the same subject and composition on which the artist (Fang Hsun) writes that he's copying a scroll by Tu Chin. But: giving a seminar on Zhe-school ptg in Ming:

S,S. One of students argued in seminar paper that it wasn't by Tu Chin, it was by Chang Lu. And as soon as comparisons made, it was obvious she was right. (Always encouraged students to argue agst my opinions, so long as they could back up their arguments.)
-- S. Detail. Point out similarities.

S --. Another Chang Lu ptg, alb. leaf in Shanghai Museum. Very consistent. I trained students to recognize individual styles of artists, regional styles, large period styles; they had to pass a connoisseurship exam, as part of their Ph.D. qualifying exams. All that pretty outmoded now (still stronger in Asian art than other fields, I think.)

S,S. Hua Yen, 18th cent., Animals Fleeing from Brushfire. a ptg now much admired and reproduced. But for quite a long time it was hanging in the shop of a NY dealer, nobody would touch it. I recommended to Freer--John Pope, then director, didn't like. "Bad brushwork." This was before I had developed argument abt how Ch artists often had to slip into what critics denounce as bad brushwork to achieve effects they wanted--well know example is what's called Ch'an or Zen ptg. This is now owned by Nicholas Cahill (studied archaeology here, later at Berkeley; now teaches at U. Wisconsin in Madison, book out recently from Yale U. Press.)

I'll show a few other things in exhib., only identifying them and adding brief commentary, while continuing w. theme of the lecture: the scholar-teacher as collector.

S,S. Kung Hsien, ca. 1665, also Nick's. LS done for famous poet Wang Shih-chen. Was centerpiece in article I wrote on early styles of Kung Hsien.

There were, of course, ethical issues raised by my being a museum curator, and later a teacher, while collecting ptgs myself. Some even feel this is bad idea.During my time at Freer, always showed my acquisitions to Director & Vice-Director (Wenley and Pope, most of the time) and recommended the ones I thought to be of Freer quality and importance; they could decide which Freer would take (at price I paid, of course). Happened several times. But more often, even when I recommended the ptg to them, they would decide agst it, say I could keep it. All this time, of course, I was also searching out really top things for Freer to acquire, without thinking of pursuing them myself.

S,S. Huang Shen, alb of Beggars & Street Entertainers. Some of my colleagues, as I say, felt strongly that a scholar-teacher shouldn't collect himself, because of possible conflicts of interest. But there are other notable cases of scholar-teachers who have had collections themselves: Cary Welch at Harvard, Max Loehr (on smaller scale), others. Wen Fong did for a time; but for family, with all ending up as gifts (I believe) to Princeton Art Museum or Met. , so collecting for good cause. I always believed, and argued, that under certain self-imposed rules it was OK to do, and that the benefits to myself & students in training their eyes, allowing them to handle real works of art (which wouldn't otherwise have been possible at Berkeley, on any large scale) more than offset the disadvantages and dangers.

S,S. Two more leaves. After my move from the Freer to Berkeley to be a professor, less a problem, since Univ. Art Mus. had no funds for acquisition of Asian art. (Some generous gifts, later; and fumpon sales. Also, persuading people with large incomes, notably two doctors, to buy pieces I'd find in Asia, give them to us with somewhat larger but quite honest appraisals, and come off fine in their income taxes--perfectly legitimate game that was S --. Huang Shen, big one. Before leaving this artist, want to tell how this ptg came into my possession. (Story)

S,S. Ch'en Hung-shou, Su Wu and Li Ling. (won't tell stories at length.) (Visit w. C.C.Wang, Anne Burkus, trade.) (She's teaching now at U. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign--just pub. article on another work of this artist, on whom she wrote dissertation.) Work of 1630s, when Ch'en production appears to have had a more commercial character, worked w. help of assistants, some of it rather heavy-handed. But:

-- S. Ptg w. more subtleties than appear at first--another advantage to owning a ptg is the familiarity you can develop with it, hanging it on wall.

S,S. Ts'ui Tzu-chung, Farewell Meeting in Apricot Gathering, 1638. Acquired in Japan, from Eda Bungado; now Nicholas's. Subject was identified by Judy Andrews, who took on certain aspects of this artist's work as her dissertation topic. (She now teaches at Ohio State U.) (Describe)
S --. This apparatus, a mystery to me for a long time, was identified for me by a dealer-friend Kobayashi Katsuhiro of Tekisendo in Tokyo: (describe)

S,S. Sun Chun-tse. Another work that was on NY market for a long time, w/o finding a buyer; this was bought in 1968, after I had moved to Berkeley, and now belongs to Sarah Cahill. Symposium in Cleveland in that year on art of Yuan dynasty (etc.) Ended among "World Treasures of Art" at Osaka World's Fair.

-- S. Several signed works by Sun Chun-tse are preserved in Japan; highly regarded there, Important Cultural Properties etc.. Chinese collectors, with their obsession with big names, didn't want works by minor masters such as Sun Chun-tse, so dealers obligingly removed original signatures, added those of Ma Yuan. Several ptgs of this kind have been preserved in Japan; this one came from China (know from mounting) but escaped by being falsely identified--label on outside says "Sung work, surely by Ma Yuan"--tried to obliterate signature w. stroke of ink, but still readable under strong light.
S --. Signature matches exactly those on ptgs in Japan; so does style. So has become famous work.

S,S. Another case of unnoticed signature, or in this case a seal, is this large ptg now in the BAM and recognized as major work by leading Zhe-school master Tai Chin. (Story). Four-char. title, "Summer Trees Casting Shade," in court calligraphy. Ptg of this title by Tai Chin recorded as having been in col. of Yen Sung, prime minister who was overthrown in 1565; could be this ptg.
S -- Closer detail: house among trees. Close resemblance to:

-- S. One in Shanghai Museum. Same seal appears on both! altho very dif. in sizes--matches. Once real authorship is realized, similarities seem so obvious one wonders how he could have missed them--

S,S. Continuing with theme of using ptgs in seminars: I held Wen C-m seminar in 1976-77, making heavy use of Dick Edwards's Art of Wen Cheng-ming catalog, just out. Both the ptgs by him I acquired, both in present exhib., weren't in Dick's, for different reasons. One, from the col. of Huang Pao-hsi, became while the seminar was going on, and Huang sold many of his best ptgs at auction in NYC; I acquired this one then. But before buying, went over it carefully w. seminar, comparing to other works of artist around same time (early-1516) such as this 1515 snowscape

S --. Or this one, 1517 (both in Palace Mus.) (Note way of formal repetitions, trees to mts above) We decided it was certainly authentic, and I bought it. Reached Berkeley in time for seminar to use.

S --. (Subject of ptg: done for young friend Wang Ch'ung who was studying for the exams there.)

S --. Insc., in Wen's famous hsiao-k'ai or small-standard script. Chiang Chao-shen, who did major study of Wen C-m, said when he saw it that he hadn't been sure (etc.) (some repair, filling in.)

S,S. Other Wen C-m had been reprod. in Siren's book, in Yamaguchi Col. in Japan; also came up for auction in NYC (long after seminar.) Leading Chinese authority on Ch. ptg in NYC just then, Xu Bangda, who was going about pronouncing things fake; did so for this, others wouldn't touch it. They were wrong, for reasons I could again point out, with time.

S --. Belongs in series of late works featuring groups of old coniferous trees; this is one in Cleveland,
S --. or well-known one in K.C., of which I have only detail slide. Smaller, on paper; same hand, same intelligence.
S --. Cypresses were favorite subj. of artist; great old cypresses at Point Lobos, down near Carmel on California coast. I took seminar there; one of students was Chang Sing, daughter of Chang Ta-ch'ien, who did graduate work with me; we stayed at his house in Pebble Beach. (I took students regularly on outings, often overnight to Marin County, for spiritual recharging: to beach, or on what students called Long March. Those who are here will remember.)

S.-- I had two Shitao seminars, one early (Rick Vinograd took), one late. First, again, coincided w. Dick Edwards Tao-chi exhib. I myself could never afford major Shitao, other than this lovely leaf, bought during my Fulbright year in Japan (not in exhib.)

S,S. But did acquire good late Shitao album for Univ. Art Museum, in trade w. C.C.Wang--had something he believed in, I didn't. Again, received it during time of exhib. (later one), worked through it, decided OK, agreed to his proposal for trade. (W/o purchase funds for Museum, had to be ingenious.)

S,S. These are two leaves from six, late works, which I acquired in curious way. Dealer in D.C.; accepted as study pieces. During seminar, brought them out, realized real thing (I had come to understand Shitao's late period in interim.) What to do? dealer long retired, didn't know how to reach. Not properly mine.

S,S. Two more leaves (of six). After consultation w. students, we put in auction, used money it brought to establish The Shitao Fund (etc.) But also made point: possible for genuine works by great artist to be undesirable. (Still upsets some people to say this abt Shitao. But it was something my students learned---)

S,S. This pairing I use only to tell another story: Orthodox LS seminar, 1969 or 1970, coincided w. Princeton exhib. & symposium, Earl Morse collection. Twd end, I had briefly in my possession, conveying it from CCW to Morse, two great ptgs : handscrolls by Wang Y-c and Wu Li. Brought to seminar and showed; after months of immersal in special values of this kind of ptg, these were breathtaking for seminar students. As it happened, rec'd at same time in mail a ptg by 18th cent. Japanese Nanga master Ikeno Taiga, from dealer in Japan. (This not it, but will serve.) Brought it to show seminar. Their response was: Prof. Cahill, how can you buy such an awful ptg! They were by then so imbued w. values of Orthodox-school Ch ptg--brushwork, highly structured compositions, etc.--that they couldn't quickly shift aesthetic gears to appreciate Taiga. (Some people turn out to be altogether incapable, never wiil enjoy Taiga or Nanga or Jap. pg generally.)

-- S. Detail of Taiga (describe. 1748; making ptg style out of what he learned from Mustard Seed Garden; turning it into Rimpa-like forms.). Like being a Beethoven enthusiast and not being able to appreciate Ravel. This brought home to seminar radical differences in criteria of value, fallacy of thinking that one can recognize "quality" in art of any period and kind. Part of my attempted training for students was to open their minds of diversity of kinds of ptg--like moving, to take an example from Western art, from Poussin to van Gogh in European oil ptg. Museum curators have to do it; scholars sometimes find it easier to hold on to their prejudices and blind spots.

-- S. Closer detail. Nothing Chinese could call good brushwork; rules it out, for many of them. But same true of much of Chan or Zen ptg; also much of ptg I'll be talking abt in other lectures here.

S,S. In 1982 we had seminar called Sogenga (explain). Small exhib. w. catalog, drawn from our olw collections (UAM + mine) plus dealers in Japan, mostly. Two of works in it: Wen Jih-kuan, Ma Yuan (now both in BAM). Our show and its catalog supported by grant of $5000 from Soc. for Asian Art in S.F.; cheapest exhib. I can recall.

S --. Famous work by Jih-kuan in Jap. col., ptd in 1291. Reproduced widely. Other unknown, unpub., except for minor exhib. cat. Japanese scholars tend to be conservative in their judgements, uneasy abt works that suddenly appear, not santified by previous publication by some established scholar. So other one stayed in hands of dealer until I acquired it (in complicated trade, again.)

S --. Detail. Buddhist assoc: from West, like Buddhism (Sakyamuni, Bodhidharma)

S --. Another, closer. Pinnacle in dev. of ink-monochrome ptg in China; absolutely free of any brush discipline, hand of artist, style--all of which would have detracted from success of image. Completely outside scholar-amateur ptg or wenrenhua; scarcely preserved in China. With such a ptg in front of you, you can talk to students and others about these qualities. One of my students, now well-estab. in museum career, is quoted in wall panel (Berkeley? here?) for this ptg telling how seeing real ptg i/o slides, and his almost visceral response to it, was factor in his career choice ...

S,.S. Lastly, the Ma Yuan ptg. Signed work; trimmed at bottom, sig. partly missing; upsets composition a bit. Was in Akaboshi col., along with several now-famous Sung ptgs; passed into col. of Matsunaga Jisai, founder of electric company, his Kinenkan. (etc.) Auction; dealer bought it from whom I'd acquired quite a lot in past, Heisando, Takahashi Taihei.
S --. Alb leaf in Palace Mus., Beijing
S --. Other ptgs by Ma Yuan of quiet scenes in nature w. birds; this is one in Japanese col. Another in Palace Mus.: egrets (add?) Indications of season: typical of So. Sung ptgs. Must have been one of his specialties.

Various features of ptg can be matched w. reliable Ma Yuan works; stepped recession marked by hilltops, dimming into distance, no texture;
S --. Pine tree w. supple drawing of trunk and branches (this one in BMFA)
S -- where stiffer, more angular in imitations (one I pub. in Skira book!)
S --. Finally, one in Cleveland Mus., similar subject, profoundly dif. otherwise. Some believe; I don't. (Point out things wrong.) Will make similar points in seminar -- "Looking Hard at Chinese Paintings."

As a general comment, to conclude, let me say that a big deficiency in Chinese ptg studies has been a weakness of some otherwise strong scholars and teachers in the practice of close visual engagement w. ptgs, careful comparisons and analyses, of kind I've tried to demonstrate tonight, and will continue in seminar. Some otherwise very good people work mainly on insc. and seals; others so committed to literati or scholar-amateur values can't easily shift to other modes; and so forth. Coming myself from a museum background (curator at Freer) and studying mainly with a teacher who was strongly committed to a visual approach (Max Loehr), I worked very hard, during my three decades as scholar-teacher-collector, to inculcaie what I took to be right habits of looking in my students--using for this purpose, along with other materials, ptgs in china Yuan Chai collection. I'm very glad that quite a lot of them are now finding their way into the BAM collection, a development that is celebrated in this exhibition, and I trust they will be used in similar ways by my successors, far into future, just as excellent collection here at U. Mich. Art Museum is used by teachers and students of Chinese art here.

Williams College lecture, Nov. 16, 2005

Introductory. Here before, in 1979—giving lectures at Harvard.

Tribute to Scarlett.

It's a special pleasure to be here on the occasion of this exhibition of our family collection, and to be speaking about my experiences in bringing it together--and now, seeing much of it disperse. The "Mists and Clouds" of the exhibition title refers to an essay by the 11th century scholar-statesman Su Shi or Su Dongpo, in which he advised that the paintings and works of calligraphy one collected should be thought of as passing before one's eyes like mists and clouds, and should not be permitted to get their barbs into you, which is what would happen if one tried to hang onto them. Nevertheless, I can’t escape the thought that since this is the last showing of the exhibition, and since many of the paintings are no longer mine, I may be seeing some of them for the last time.

My talk tonight will be informal and anecdotal, and will generally follow the theme of the exhibition: how a scholar-teacher who is also an active collector, and who kept the family collection at the University Art Museum (its old name) for constant use by himself and students, was able to integrate his collecting with his scholarship and his teaching, to the benefit of all three. Or so he hoped and believed, and still does.

As a prefatory note, I should say that the ptgs I'm talking about are mostly in the exhibition, and mostly represent the best of the collection. And in talking only about these, I might give the impression of boasting that I never made mistakes. That would be far from the truth--I could give another lecture on bad purchases, which turned out to be less than genuine, or otherwise a mistake. The collection also includes some study material, minor but interesting paintings, even some of insecure authenticity--these, too, are sometimes useful in teaching. And a few of these have found their way into the exhibition--the selection wasn't mine, although I gave advice.

S,S. Lo P'ing, 1799 Portrait of Artist's Friend I-an. (This is one of the ptgs that unfortunately couldn't be included in the exhibition.) My collecting began during my Fulbright year in Japan, 1954-55. During most of year, I took every opportunity to look at all the public and private collections I could get access to, often with great introductions from my mentor Shujiro Shimada (who gave name Ching Yuan Chai to collection, name by which it's been known.) As I went around the great collections--Sumitomo, Takashima, Hashimoto, others--I assumed, without asking, that good Ch ptgs must all be extremely expensive, far beyond what a Fulbright scholar's stipend would allow; for me to acquire anything good myself seemed beyond dreaming. I'd spent a year at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, and knew what they paid for their acquisitions of Chinese paintings. Then, after my Fulbright year was more than half over, I met through an introduction an old Japanese professor of Chinese literature, Prof. Ueda, and was intro. by him, in turn, to the shops of several less-known but knowledgeable dealers and other outlets for Chinese paintings.

In going around among dealers, famous and obscure, I learned about what I came to call the "schools of fish" situation in the ptg market in Japan. (Describe: Mayuyama, Setsu, Kochukyo on upper level; others middle: Eda Bungado, Yushima Seido, Tajima Teishodo; others on lower levels. At these less prestigious sources, ptgs could be very cheap, w/o necessarily being lower in quality--unpub., no guarantees. Sometimes problems of condition. But if you trusted your eyes, could find bargains, good ptgs by known artists in the low hundreds of dollars, what other Fulbright families were paying to buy tansu or ceramics. (I had no private funds to speak of then, never have had--most professors don't get rich.) My acquisitions in that first year included the ptgs by Lo P'ing and Wu Wei (the latter withdrawn from exhib.--will show next.)

S --. I learned also something about my own evaluations of ptgs: going back over things I seen, I realized that many that I'd written in my notes as genuine, and now realized were potentially available, were ptgs I wouldn't especially want to own myself. And that there were others that I really wanted to have, at least for a time, in my possession. That perception, refined over many years of collecting and thinking through why these were desirable and those weren't, certainly had an effect on my scholarship, in which I've always tried to confront directly questions of value--on a level above a simple "I like it" or "I don't like it"--trying to analyze what in the ptg makes it successful, desirable, something one wants to have around for a long time. (Poor ptgs quickly become boring). Also, of course, selecting ptgs for purchase sharpened my eye for decisions about authenticity. And collecting gave me much greater access to dealers' holdings--they would bring out more pieces, and better pieces, knowing I was a prospective purchaser. Jap. dealers often hold out things to show only to their special customers; sometimes they won't sell a piece to an outsider until all of their regular circle of customers has seen it.

S,S. Wu Wei. Now owned by my then-wife Dorothy Cahill, as is the Lo P'ing. The collection is now owned by her and myself, with smaller groups of particularly good things owned by our children Nicholas and Sarah; the best from my part have gone to our Berkeley Art Museum . This ptg was at the Yushima Seido (describe). Brought out from back room--I hadn't bought enough from them to reach this status. American ...

S,S. Story. Famous ptr-collector Chang Ta-ch'ien was in Tokyo--spent a lot of time with him in Japan--and I asked him to come with me to Yushima Seido to look at it. (etc.)

S,S. Two more sections, at beginning. I should explain here, before going on: great dif. bet. E. Asian brush ptg and European-American oil ptg is that the former is produced in vastly greater quantities--Tomioka Tessai, for instance, in 1924, is estimated by his grandson to have produced about 20,000 ptgs during his lifetime. Wu Wei, this artist, partly because he worked fast, was very prolific. And lesser works by prominent artists, if unknown and unpublished, and bought through small dealers (no guarantees), could be surprisingly cheap. What I came to understand is that you could go to Tokyo Nat'l Mus. and see work by some artist you especially admired, then go out on market and find another by same artist that you could acquire w/o being rich. Not so with Fragonard or van Gogh or Matisse.

S,S. During the period from the later 50s through the 70s, I found occasion at least once a year for regular travels in E. Asia, research trips mostly; often w. my good friend the late Hugh Wass, who lived for years in Japan before teaching at Mills College in Oakland. We would meet in Tokyo, go on to Kansai, then to Taiwan, HK, following up scholarly projects, seeing exhibitions and collectors, but also dealers. My pursuit of Chinese ptgs (and occasionally Japanese) came to be the cloak-and-dagger side of my life--keeping on the move, frequenting unlikely places, matching wits w. wily dealers, some of whom wanted to cheat me or sell me bad ptgs, while I wanted to take advantage of some blind spot of theirs to buy a fine ptg cheap. Part of the excitement, of course, was risking our limited funds. I can't recall these times and these travels without poignant twinges of nostalgia.

What is now on the screen is the scroll now recognized as a major work by Chang Lu, Su Tung-p'o Returning to the Hanlin Academy, now owned by my daughter Sarah. One Tokyo dealer, who had earlier been established in Beijing, was Sammy Lee (still alive and active in Los Angeles), who has a good eye for ceramics, lacquer, objects, didn't deal in ptgs. (etc.--story. Visited with Hugh.). Left it with friend Cheng Chi, himself a major collector, to be mtd by Meguro as handscroll; w/o asking me, Cheng Chi added a colophon (insc. mtd after ptg) saying it was definitely by Wu Wei. Good try, but not right attribution.

S --. I myself took it at first to be a work by the Ming figure master Tu Chin, because I'd found a reproduction of a scroll w. more or less the same subject and composition on which the artist (Fang Hsun) writes that he's copying a scroll by Tu Chin. But: giving a seminar on Zhe-school ptg in Ming:
S,S. One of students argued in seminar paper that it wasn't by Tu Chin, it was by Chang Lu. And as soon as comparisons made, it was obvious she was right. (Always encouraged students to argue agst my opinions, so long as they could back up their arguments.)
-- S. Detail. Point out similarities.
S --. Another Chang Lu ptg, alb. leaf in Shanghai Museum. Very consistent. I trained students to recognize individual styles of artists, regional styles, large period styles; they had to pass a connoisseurship exam, as part of their Ph.D. qualifying exams. All that pretty outmoded now (still stronger in Asian art than other fields, I think.)

S,S. Hua Yen, 18th cent., Animals Fleeing from Brushfire. a ptg now much admired and reproduced. But for quite a long time it was hanging in the shop of a NY dealer, nobody would touch it. I recommended to Freer--John Pope, then director, didn't like. "Bad brushwork." This was before I had developed argument abt how Ch artists often had to slip into what critics denounce as bad brushwork to achieve effects they wanted--well know example is what's called Ch'an or Zen ptg. This is now owned by Nicholas Cahill, my son, who is now professor at U. Wisconsin in Madison.
-- S. Ptg in album of same subject, simplified.
-- S. Another, formerly private col. in Taipei, now Palace Museum, more or less Same subject, but far less moving, lacks immediacy, coherence, of other. . .

I'll show a few other things in exhib., only identifying them and adding brief commentary, while continuing w. theme of the lecture: the scholar-teacher as collector.

S,S, Ch'en Ch'uan, Gazing at Moon.

There were, of course, ethical issues raised by my being a museum curator, and later a teacher, while collecting ptgs myself. Some even feel this is bad idea. During my time at Freer, always showed my acquisitions to Director & Vice-Director (Archibald Wenley and John Pope, most of the time) and recommended the ones I thought to be of Freer quality and importance; they could decide which Freer would take (at price I paid, of
S,S. Lo P'ing, 1799 Portrait of Artist's Friend I-an. (This is one of the ptgs that unfortunately couldn't be included in the exhibition.) My collecting began during my Fulbright year in Japan, 1954-55. During most of year, I took every opportunity to look at all the public and private collections I could get access to, often with great introductions from my mentor Shujiro Shimada (who gave name Ching Yuan Chai to collection, name by which it's been known.) As I went around the great collections--Sumitomo, Takashima, Hashimoto, others--I assumed, without asking, that good Ch ptgs must all be extremely expensive, far beyond what a Fulbright scholar's stipend would allow; for me to acquire anything good myself seemed beyond dreaming. I'd spent a year at the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington, and knew what they paid for their acquisitions of Chinese paintings. Then, after my Fulbright year was more than half over, I met through an introduction an old Japanese professor of Chinese literature, Prof. Ueda, and was intro. by him, in turn, to the shops of several less-known but knowledgeable dealers and other outlets for Chinese paintings.

In going around among dealers, famous and obscure, I learned about what I came to call the "schools of fish" situation in the ptg market in Japan. (Describe: Mayuyama, Setsu, Kochukyo on upper level; others middle: Eda Bungado, Yushima Seido, Tajima Teishodo; others on lower levels. At these less prestigious sources, ptgs could be very cheap, w/o necessarily being lower in quality--unpub., no guarantees. Sometimes problems of condition. But if you trusted your eyes, could find bargains, good ptgs by known artists in the low hundreds of dollars, what other Fulbright families were paying to buy tansu or ceramics. (I had no private funds to speak of then, never have had--most professors don't get rich.) My acquisitions in that first year included the ptgs by Lo P'ing and Wu Wei (the latter withdrawn from exhib.--will show next.)

S --. I learned also something about my own evaluations of ptgs: going back over things I seen, I realized that many that I'd written in my notes as genuine, and now realized were potentially available, were ptgs I wouldn't especially want to own myself. And that there were others that I really wanted to have, at least for a time, in my possession. That perception, refined over many years of collecting and thinking through why these were desirable and those weren't, certainly had an effect on my scholarship, in which I've always tried to confront directly questions of value--on a level above a simple "I like it" or "I don't like it"--trying to analyze what in the ptg makes it successful, desirable, something one wants to have around for a long time. (Poor ptgs quickly become boring). Also, of course, selecting ptgs for purchase sharpened my eye for decisions about authenticity. And collecting gave me much greater access to dealers' holdings--they would bring out more pieces, and better pieces, knowing I was a prospective purchaser. Jap. dealers often hold out things to show only to their special customers; sometimes they won't sell a piece to an outsider until all of their regular circle of customers has seen it.

S,S. Wu Wei. Now owned by my then-wife Dorothy Cahill, as is the Lo P'ing. The collection is now owned by her and myself, with smaller groups of particularly good things owned by our children Nicholas and Sarah; the best from my part have gone to our Berkeley Art Museum . This ptg was at the Yushima Seido (describe). Brought out from back room--I hadn't bought enough from them to reach this status. American ...

S,S. Story. Famous ptr-collector Chang Ta-ch'ien was in Tokyo--spent a lot of time with him in Japan--and I asked him to come with me to Yushima Seido to look at it. (etc.)

S,S. Two more sections, at beginning. I should explain here, before going on: great dif. bet. E. Asian brush ptg and European-American oil ptg is that the former is produced in vastly greater quantities--Tomioka Tessai, for instance, in 1924, is estimated by his grandson to have produced about 20,000 ptgs during his lifetime. Wu Wei, this artist, partly because he worked fast, was very prolific. And lesser works by prominent artists, if unknown and unpublished, and bought through small dealers (no guarantees), could be surprisingly cheap. What I came to understand is that you could go to Tokyo Nat'l Mus. and see work by some artist you especially admired, then go out on market and find another by same artist that you could acquire w/o being rich. Not so with Fragonard or van Gogh or Matisse.

S,S. During the period from the later 50s through the 70s, I found occasion at least once a year for regular travels in E. Asia, research trips mostly; often w. my good friend the late Hugh Wass, who lived for years in Japan before teaching at Mills College in Oakland. We would meet in Tokyo, go on to Kansai, then to Taiwan, HK, following up scholarly projects, seeing exhibitions and collectors, but also dealers. My pursuit of Chinese ptgs (and occasionally Japanese) came to be the cloak-and-dagger side of my life--keeping on the move, frequenting unlikely places, matching wits w. wily dealers, some of whom wanted to cheat me or sell me bad ptgs, while I wanted to take advantage of some blind spot of theirs to buy a fine ptg cheap. Part of the excitement, of course, was risking our limited funds. I can't recall these times and these travels without poignant twinges of nostalgia.

What is now on the screen is the scroll now recognized as a major work by Chang Lu, Su Tung-p'o Returning to the Hanlin Academy, now owned by my daughter Sarah. One Tokyo dealer, who had earlier been established in Beijing, was Sammy Lee (still alive and active in Los Angeles), who has a good eye for ceramics, lacquer, objects, didn't deal in ptgs. (etc.--story. Visited with Hugh.). Left it with friend Cheng Chi, himself a major collector, to be mtd by Meguro as handscroll; w/o asking me, Cheng Chi added a colophon (insc. mtd after ptg) saying it was definitely by Wu Wei. Good try, but not right attribution.

S --. I myself took it at first to be a work by the Ming figure master Tu Chin, because I'd found a reproduction of a scroll w. more or less the same subject and composition on which the artist (Fang Hsun) writes that he's copying a scroll by Tu Chin. But: giving a seminar on Zhe-school ptg in Ming:
S,S. One of students argued in seminar paper that it wasn't by Tu Chin, it was by Chang Lu. And as soon as comparisons made, it was obvious she was right. (Always encouraged students to argue agst my opinions, so long as they could back up their arguments.)
-- S. Detail. Point out similarities.
S --. Another Chang Lu ptg, alb. leaf in Shanghai Museum. Very consistent. I trained students to recognize individual styles of artists, regional styles, large period styles; they had to pass a connoisseurship exam, as part of their Ph.D. qualifying exams. All that pretty outmoded now (still stronger in Asian art than other fields, I think.)

S,S. Hua Yen, 18th cent., Animals Fleeing from Brushfire. a ptg now much admired and reproduced. But for quite a long time it was hanging in the shop of a NY dealer, nobody would touch it. I recommended to Freer--John Pope, then director, didn't like. "Bad brushwork." This was before I had developed argument abt how Ch artists often had to slip into what critics denounce as bad brushwork to achieve effects they wanted--well know example is what's called Ch'an or Zen ptg. This is now owned by Nicholas Cahill, my son, who is now professor at U. Wisconsin in Madison.
-- S. Ptg in album of same subject, simplified.
-- S. Another, formerly private col. in Taipei, now Palace Museum, more or less Same subject, but far less moving, lacks immediacy, coherence, of other. . .

I'll show a few other things in exhib., only identifying them and adding brief commentary, while continuing w. theme of the lecture: the scholar-teacher as collector.

S,S, Ch'en Ch'uan, Gazing at Moon.

There were, of course, ethical issues raised by my being a museum curator, and later a teacher, while collecting ptgs myself. Some even feel this is bad idea. During my time at Freer, always showed my acquisitions to Director & Vice-Director (Archibald Wenley and John Pope, most of the time) and recommended the ones I thought to be of Freer quality and importance; they could decide which Freer would take (at price I paid, of course). Happened several times. But more often, even when I recommended the ptg to them, they would decide agst it, say I could keep it. All this time, of course, I was also searching out really top things for Freer to acquire, without thinking of pursuing them myself.

S,S. Huang Shen, alb of Beggars & Street Entertainers. Some of my colleagues, as I say, felt strongly that a scholar-teacher shouldn't himself collect, because of possible conflicts of interest. But there are other notable cases of scholar-teachers who have had collections themselves: Cary Welch at Harvard, Max Loehr (on smaller scale), others. Wen Fong did for a time; but for family, with all ending up as gifts (I believe) to Princeton Art Museum or Met. , so collecting for good cause. I always believed, and argued, that under certain self-imposed rules it was OK to do, and that the benefits to myself & students in training their eyes, allowing them to handle real works of art (which wouldn't otherwise have been possible at Berkeley, on any large scale) more than offset the disadvantages and dangers.

S,S. Two more leaves. After my move from the Freer to Berkeley to be a professor, less a problem, since Univ. Art Mus. had no funds for acquisition of Asian art. (Some generous gifts, later; and fumpon sales. Also, persuading people with large incomes, notably two doctors, to buy pieces I'd find in Asia, give them to us with somewhat larger but quite honest appraisals, and come off fine in their income taxes--perfectly legitimate game that was very beneficial to both parties.

S --. Another Huang Shen ptg in exhib., quite large, horizontal, probably mtd originally as small screen. (How I acquired …) No market for such in Japan: where to hang? (How I acquired.)

S,S. Ch'en Hung-shou, Su Wu and Li Ling. (won't tell stories at length.) (Visit w. C.C.Wang, Anne Burkus, trade.) (She's teaching now at U. Illinois at Urbana-Champaign--just pub. article on another work of this artist, on whom she wrote dissertation.) Work of 1630s, when Ch'en production appears to have had a more commercial character, worked w. help of assistants, some of it rather heavy-handed. But: Ptg w. more subtleties than appear at first--another advantage to owning a ptg is the familiarity you can develop with it, hanging it on wall.

S,S. Ts'ui Tzu-chung, Farewell Meeting in Apricot Gathering, 1638. Acquired in Japan, from Eda Bungado; now Nicholas's. Subject was identified by Judy Andrews, who took on certain aspects of this artist's work as her dissertation topic. (She now teaches at Ohio State U.) (Describe)

S --. This apparatus, a mystery to me for a long time, was identified for me by a dealer-friend Kobayashi Katsuhiro of Tekisendo in Tokyo: (describe)
S,S. Ch’en Kuan. From Contag col. Dtd. 1638. Lesser artist, but fine, impressive work. (Describe: birthday picture, presumably.)

S,S. Sun Chun-tse. Another work that was on NY market for a long time, w/o finding a buyer; this was bought in 1968, after I had moved to Berkeley, and now belongs to Sarah Cahill. Symposium in Cleveland in that year on art of Yuan dynasty (etc.) Ended among "World Treasures of Art" at Osaka World's Fair.

-- S. Several signed works by Sun Chun-tse are preserved in Japan; highly regarded there, Important Cultural Properties etc.. Chinese collectors, with their obsession with big names, didn't want works by minor masters such as Sun Chun-tse, so dealers obligingly removed original signatures, added those of Ma Yuan. Several ptgs of this kind have been preserved in Japan; this one came from China (know from mounting) but escaped by being falsely identified--label on outside says "Sung work, surely by Ma Yuan"--tried to obliterate signature w. stroke of ink, but still readable under strong light.

-- S. Signature matches exactly those on ptgs in Japan; so does style. So has become famous work.
-- S. Ma Yuan, in Taipei
-- S. one actually ascribed to him, but later—Ming.
-- S. Tai Chin

S,S. Another case of unnoticed signature, or in this case a seal, is this large ptg now in the BAM and recognized as major work by leading Zhe-school master Tai Chin. (Story). Four-char. title, "Summer Trees Casting Shade," in court calligraphy. Ptg of this title by Tai Chin recorded as having been in col. of Yen Sung, prime minister who was overthrown in 1565; could be this ptg.

S -- Closer detail: house among trees. Close resemblance to:
S -- . One in Shanghai Museum. Same seal appears on both! altho very dif. in sizes--matches. Once real authorship is realized, similarities seem so obvious one wonders how he could have missed them--

S,S. Continuing with theme of using ptgs in seminars: I held Wen C-m seminar in 1976-77,acquired a good, although modest, ptg by him while seminar was going on. Chih-p’ing Temple, ptd in 1516 : done for young friend Wang Ch'ung who was studying for the exams there. From the col. of Huang Pao-hsi, noted HK collector; Huang sold many of his best ptgs at auction in NYC; I acquired this one then. But before buying, went over it carefully w. seminar, comparing to other works of artist around same time. (Left: ptg dtd 1517) Note way of formal repetitions, trees to mts above)

S --. Another, dtd. 1515. We decided it was certainly authentic, and I bought it. Reached Berkeley in time for seminar to use. Insc., in Wen's famous hsiao-k'ai or small-standard script. Chiang Chao-shen, who did major study of Wen C-m, said when he saw it that he hadn't been sure (etc.) (some repair, filling in.)

S,S. Other Wen C-m had been reprod. in Siren's book, in Yamaguchi Col. in Japan; also came up for auction in NYC (long after seminar.) Leading Chinese authority on Ch. ptg in NYC just then, Xu Bangda, who was going about pronouncing things fake; did so for this, others wouldn't touch it. They were wrong, for reasons I could again point out, with time. Same kind of echoings of form: shapes in upper part repeated in lower, tops of trees. And so forth--lots of correspondences.

S --. Dated 1549. Belongs in series of late works featuring groups of old coniferous trees; this is one in Cleveland, dtd. 1551.
S --. or well-known one in K.C. Smaller, on paper; same hand, same intelligence. Negative spaces ...
S --. Cypresses were favorite subj. of artist; great old cypresses at Point Lobos, down near Carmel on California coast. I took seminar there; one of students was Chang Sing, daughter of Chang Ta-ch'ien, who did graduate work with me; we stayed at his house in Pebble Beach. (I took students regularly on outings, often overnight to Marin County, for spiritual recharging: to beach, or on what students called Long March.)

S,S. I had two Shitao seminars, one early (Rick Vinograd took), one late. First, again, coincided w. Dick Edwards Tao-chi exhib. I myself could never afford major Shitao. But did acquire good late Shitao album for Univ. Art Museum, in trade w. C.C.Wang—Museum had something he believed in, I didn't. Again, received it during time of exhib. (later one), worked through it, decided OK, agreed to his proposal for trade. (W/o purchase funds for Museum, had to be ingenious.)

S,S. These are two leaves from Shitao’s late period, which I acquired in curious way. Dealer in D.C. given them by Smithsonian, confiscated; I accepted as study pieces. During seminar, brought them out, realized real thing (I had come to understand Shitao's late period in interim.) What to do? dealer long retired, didn't know how to reach. Not properly mine.

--S. One more leaf (of six). After consultation w. students, we put in auction, used money it brought to establish The Shitao Fund (etc.) But also made point: possible for genuine works by great artist to be undesirable. (Still upsets some people to say this abt Shitao. But it was something my students learned---)

S,S. Two sec'ns of another long handscroll version of the Wang-ch'uan Villa composition, also with sig. of Wang Yuan-ch'i, in exhib.; of course not by him. Bought in Japan, from dealer who knew it wasn't real Wang Y-c; didn't know who really painted it--I did, much less famous artist named Chang Chi-su, no reputation, but very fine.

S,S. Two more sec’ns. Several other versions of this have turned up in years since; on one, he inscribes (in 1676) telling of how … (etc.)

S,S. Before concluding with two early paintings, I want to show a few works, all in exhib., by Jen Hsiung and Jen Po-nien, two 19th cent. masters who stand out as brilliant artists in a period that didn't produce more than a few. Jen Hsiung, who died young in 1851, painted figures in variety of styles--Ch'en Hung-shou, Huang Shen--

S,S. and beautiful-women pictures not so vapid as most from that period. This is very fine album by him. (Story: Taipei in winter-spring 1963--)
S,S. This ptg of pheasants on a rock, from 1850, using new technique (describe)--changes character of bird-and-flower ptg.
S,S. Jen Po-nien, active in Shanghai in 1880s-90s, was extremely versatile, prolific master who left a large, very impressive body of work. Singing Bird on Bamboo Branch, after Hua Yen, 1880;
S,S. Pair of album leaves, one representing the Ming ptr Hsu Wei. One of everybody's favorites.
S,S. Rarer: landscapes by him; this is one of largest, finest. (Describe) No insc. on this ptg, but on a study sketch, hua-kao, he reveals that the composition is based on a painting by the late Ming master Ting Yun-p'eng that he used to own and has copied a number of times. One of few really original landscapes from 19th cent., in my view.

S,S. In 1982 we had seminar called Sogenga (explain). Small exhib. w. catalog, drawn from our olw collections (UAM + mine) plus dealers in Japan, mostly. Two of works in it: Wen Jih-kuan, Ma Yuan (now both in BAM).

S --. Famous work by Jih-kuan in Jap. col., ptd in 1291. Reproduced widely. Other unknown, unpub., except for minor exhib. cat. Japanese scholars tend to be conservative in their judgements, uneasy abt works that suddenly appear, not santified by previous publication by some established scholar. So other one stayed in hands of dealer until I acquired it (in complicated trade, again.)

S --. Detail. Buddhist assoc: from West, like Buddhism (Sakyamuni, Bodhidharma)
S --. Another, closer. Pinnacle in dev. of ink-monochrome ptg in China; absolutely free of any brush discipline, hand of artist, style--all of which would have detracted from success of image. Completely outside scholar-amateur ptg or wenrenhua; scarcely preserved in China.

S --. With such a ptg in front of you, you can talk to students and others about these qualities. One of my students, now well-estab. in museum career, is quoted in wall panel (Berkeley? here?) for this ptg telling how seeing real ptg i/o slides, and his almost visceral response to it, was factor in his career choice ...

S,.S. Lastly, the Ma Yuan ptg. Signed work; trimmed at bottom, sig. partly missing; upsets composition a bit. Was in Akaboshi col., along with several now-famous Sung ptgs; passed into col. of Matsunaga Jisai, founder of electric company, his Kinenkan. (etc.) Auction; dealer bought it from whom I'd acquired quite a lot in past, Heisando, Takahashi Taihei. Alb leaf w. similar subject in Palace Mus., Beijing
S --. Other ptgs by Ma Yuan of quiet scenes in nature w. birds; this is one in Japanese col.
S --. Another in Palace Mus.: egrets (add?) Indications of season: typical of So. Sung ptgs. Must have been one of his specialties.

Various features of ptg can be matched w. reliable Ma Yuan works; stepped recession marked by hilltops, dimming into distance, no texture;

S --. One in Cleveland Mus., similar subject, profoundly dif. otherwise. Some believe; I don't. (Point out things wrong.) In recent writings I've emphasized looking hard at Chinese paintings, seeing how they stand up as pictures.

As a general comment, to conclude, let me say that a big deficiency in Chinese ptg studies has been a weakness of some otherwise strong scholars and teachers in the practice of close visual engagement w. ptgs, careful comparisons and analyses. Coming myself from a museum background (curator at Freer before becoming professor) and studying mainly with a teacher who was strongly committed to a visual approach (Max Loehr), I worked very hard, during my three decades as scholar-teacher-collector at Berkeley, to inculcate what I took to be right habits of looking in my students--using for this purpose, along with other materials, ptgs in Ching Yuan Chai collection. I'm very glad that quite a lot of them are now finding their way into the BAM collection, a development that is celebrated in this exhibition, and others may well end up as long-term loans to the Evajhem (?). I trust they will be used in similar ways by my successors, and by Julia and her students, far into future.


Latest Work

  • Conclusion Conclusion
    VI Conclusion It is time to draw back and look, if not at the whole Hyakusen, at as much of him as we have managed to illuminate in this study. Dark areas remain, and doubtless many distortions, but...
    Read More...

Latest Blog Posts

  • Bedridden Blog
    Bedridden Blog   I am now pretty much confined to bed, and have to recognize this as my future.  It is difficult even to get me out of bed, as happened this morning when they needed to...
    Read More...