Christensen Fellow in Chinese Painting

Paul Bevan


Research summary
I am the Christensen Fellow in Chinese Painting in the Eastern Art Department, where my responsibilities are to undertake new research in the field of Chinese painting with reference to the Ashmolean collection and to catalogue and upload the results onto the Museum+ database. I prepare exhibitions and displays in the Chinese Painting, and the Eastern Art Painting Gallery, give gallery talks and lectures, supervise students and scholars visiting the Eastern Art Study Rooms, and co-organize study days and symposiums.

My primary research interests concern aspects of the impact of Western art and literature on China during the Republican Period (1912-1949). My research on Western artists George Grosz, Frans Masereel, and Miguel Covarrubias, all of whom worked for the American magazine Vanity Fair, has resulted in extensive research on both Chinese and Western pictorial magazines. My first book A Modern Miscellany - Shanghai Cartoon Artists, Shao Xunmei’s Circle and the Travels of Jack Chen, 1926-1938, Leiden: Brill, 2015, was hailed as “a major contribution to modern Chinese studies”; my second book: “Intoxicating Shanghai”: Modern Art and Literature in Pictorial Magazines during Shanghai’s Jazz Age, is forthcoming. I have taught modern Chinese literature and history at the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, and the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Reviews of A Modern Miscellany

Featured Publications

2015: A Modern Miscellany - Shanghai Cartoon Artists, Shao Xunmei’s Circle and the Travels of Jack Chen, 1926-1938. Brill, Leiden

Forthcoming: ‘Intoxicating Shanghai’: Modern Art and Literature in Pictorial Magazines during Shanghai’s Jazz Age Brill, Leiden

Articles in Books
2017: Hyvän onnen symbolit kiinalaisessa Taiteessa (Auspicious Symbols and Motifs in Chinese Art) in Mary Ginsberg and Marjo-Riitta Saloniemi (eds.): Kielletty kaupunki: Elämää Kiinan Keisarien Hovissa (The Forbidden City: Life in the Court of Chinese Emperors) (Tampere: Vapriikkipp, 2017) - catalogue for an exhibition of eighteenth-century objects from the Palace Museum, Beijing, at the Museum Centre Vapriikki, Tampere, Finland

Journal Articles 
Forthcoming August 2019: ‘Miguel Covarrubias and the Impact of his Work on the Artists of Shanghai’ in Anales, the Journal of the Institute of Aesthetic Investigations of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (Instituto de Investigaciones Estéticas)
2019: ‘The Guizhou Auto Dollar’ in Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society Volume 29, Issue 2  April 2019 , pp. 345-359 (first published online on 13 February 2019)
2018: The Qianlong Emperor’s English Clocks: to China and Back - Baubles, Bells and Booty in Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society (TOCS) vol. 81 (2016-2017), pp. 103-109
2016: ‘Two Silk Embroideries in the Ashmolean Museum’ in Asian Textiles: Magazine of the Oxford Asian Textile Group, no. 63 (February 2016), pp. 2-6

Forthcoming: The Essays of Shao Xunmei (with Dr Susan Daruvala, Emeritus Professor at the University of Cambridge)

2019 May: ‘Comparative Research on the Work of Shen Congwen and Nakagami Kenji’ by Shiroya Takeo 城谷武男 in The Routledge Companion to Shen Congwen
2016: Translation of inscriptions on objects in the Royal Collection for John Ayres: Chinese and Japanese Works of Art in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen. London: Royal Collection Trust

Blog posts and online essays
2019: The Eric North Bequest: a Collection of Chinese Seals in the Ashmolean Museum
2019: Painting and Calligraphy by Wucius Wong on display at the Ashmolean Museum
2018, series of three blog posts, to coincide with the Ashmolean exhibition ‘A Century of Women in Chinese Art’
Women in the Cultural Revolution
Women in Peking Opera
Women and Martial Arts
2016: Pure Land: Images of Immortals in Chinese Art. Ashmolean Museum
2016: The Pagoda Clock at Anglesey Abbey. Project report: British Inter-university China Centre (BICC) Cultural Engagement Postdoctoral Fellowship
2016: Tracing the Chinese Origins of Two Automata Clocks from Anglesey Abbey in the Collection of National Trust, ABC Bulletin, Autumn Issue 2016, pp. 3-4
2015: Classical Music in the Jazz Age. Edison Visiting Fellow at the British Library