Juliane Noth, “Debating the Past and the Future of Chinese Art at the Hangzhou National Art School”

Please join us this Thursday, March 23, from 4:45 pm-6:45 pm CT at the Cochrane Woods Art Center (CWAC) 156 for the first VMPEA workshop this spring, generously sponsored by the University of Chicago Center for East Asian Studies with support from a U.S. Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center Grant, featuring:


Juliane Noth

Professor of East Asian Art History, Freie Universität Berlin

Who will be presenting the paper

“Debating the Past and the Future of Chinese Art at the Hangzhou National Art School, 1928–1937”

*Please note the unusual date of this meeting. You can also use this link to join the talk on Zoom. No registration is required. The password is “arth”

Cover of the journal Apollo, no. 17 (1936), special issue on the graduation of the fourth class



The Hangzhou National Art School was founded with the goal to establish a modern art education following the Beaux-Arts model and to realize the concept of “aesthetic education” envisioned by the minister of education, Cai Yuanpei. Most of the young faculty around director Lin Fengmian (1900–1998) had only recently returned from their own studies in France. Together they aimed at establishing a modern program for training artists in China. In the art school’s journal’s, they engaged in controversial debates about the situation of the Chinese artworld, about how to interpret the history of Chinese art, and how it could be saved for the future. I will discuss these debates together with the curriculum and the work within the studios of the art school, and outline how historiography and practice informed each other.

Juliane Noth is Professor of East Asian Art History at Freie Universität Berlin. The focus of her research is on twentieth-century Chinese art, on how it was redefined with regard to historical practices as well as global entanglements, and on its institutional frameworks. Her latest monograph, Transmedial Landscapes and Modern Chinese Painting, was recently published as a Harvard East Asian Monograph in 2022.


Hope to see many of you there,

Lucien Sun and Li Jiang

VMPEA Coordinators, 2022–2023


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