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  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima:  National Peace Memorial Hall, sign stating number of fatalities from the bomb by the end of 1945
    Hiroshima: National Peace Memorial Hall, sign stating number of fatalities from the bomb by the end of 1945

    The A-bomb devastated nearly all administrative agencies and destoyed official documents. Thus, the exact number of deaths due to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima remains unknown. Many victims were never identified. -- According to a document submitted by the city of Hiroshima to the United Nations in 1976 entitled 'For the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons and the Reduction of All Armed Forces and All Armaments,' an extimated 140,000 (plus or minus 10,000) people died as a result of the A-bomb between August 6, 1945, and the end of December that year.

  • Thumbnail for Hiroshima:  National Peace Memorial Hall, sign describing nationalities of victims of the A-bomb at Hiroshima
    Hiroshima: National Peace Memorial Hall, sign describing nationalities of victims of the A-bomb at Hiroshima

    About 350,000 people are estimated to have been in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb was dropped. Among these were many from Korean peninsula, which was then a Japanese colony, and include persons from China. Some of these had been conscripted. Also present were foreign students from China and Southeast Asia, and American prisoners of war.

  • Thumbnail for Xue Tao image
    Xue Tao image

    Rubbing from carving of the Tang poetess Xue Tao. From Chengdu in Sichuan Provence. Includes an accompanying stone inscription dated to the "29th year of Guangxu", or 1904.

  • Thumbnail for Fourth hall of hell
    Fourth hall of hell

    One of a series of ten hell scrolls. Shows the King of the Five Offices and his henchman as well as several of the hells under his control. Commonly seen in Taiwanese temples. Purchased in the early 1980's in Taiwan.

  • Thumbnail for Seal
    Seal

    Bottom of seal with example of calligraphic seal script, commonly used for seals in China.

  • Thumbnail for Life in a village
    Life in a village by Nie Ou, 1948-

    Painted by a female artist who taught herself to paint and who lived in the countryside during the Cultural Revolution.

  • Thumbnail for Shrimp
    Shrimp by Qi Baishi, 1863-1957

    This artist has been called the "Picasso of China." Known for his simple compositions, economy of brush strokes, and bold contrasting colors.

  • Thumbnail for Bamboo
    Bamboo by Wang Qiyuan, 1895-1975

    The artist was born into the family of a Confucian scholar. He departed from traditional painting by using oils in the Western style as well as ink and watercolors. In 1941 he left China for the United States founding a school of Chinese brushwork in New York.

  • Thumbnail for Landscapes and Figures, scholar
    Landscapes and Figures, scholar by Ren Xun

    Finely detailed Chinese painting of a scholar figure by a gnarled tree on the riverbank. The image area is 23.2 cm x 21 cm. The painting is a part of a set of four related paintings by Ren Xun. Ren Xun was the younger brother of Ren Xiong (1820-1864) and his family members were successful commercial painters in Shanghai and nearby regions and skilled in many subjects, including portraiture.

  • Thumbnail for Autumn Leaves and Chrysanthemums, characters
    Autumn Leaves and Chrysanthemums, characters by Jin Dui

    Horizontal Chinese painting; ink and colors on paper; 34.2 cm x 27.3 cm; white chrysanthemums, symbol of 9th month, autumn and fruit blossoms; calligraphy and one seal by artist.

  • Thumbnail for Painting of a squash vine (detail of squash)
    Painting of a squash vine (detail of squash) by Ch’i Pai-shih (Qi Baishi) (1863-1957)

    (Part of a set of four) Qi Baishi (1863-1957) is perhaps China’s most revered master of the twentieth century. These four paintings are representative of Qi’s floral, fruit and aquatic subjects. The cascading forms, bright colors and strong sense of abstract design in the compositions are characteristic of his style.

  • Thumbnail for Painting of a branch of loquats
    Painting of a branch of loquats by Ch’i Pai-shih (Qi Baishi) (1863-1957)

    (Part of a set of four) Qi Baishi (1863-1957) is perhaps China’s most revered master of the twentieth century. These four paintings are representative of Qi’s floral, fruit and aquatic subjects. The cascading forms, bright colors and strong sense of abstract design in the compositions are characteristic of his style.

  • Thumbnail for Three Friends of Winter - detail of character inscription
    Three Friends of Winter - detail of character inscription by Yun Bing

    The subject is not really the three friends, since instead of pine, bamboo, and plum, we have plum, bamboo, two birds, a peony and a rock. The inscription gives Yun Bing, the daughter of Yun Shouping, as the artist. However, given the inaccurate descriptive title, we must be skeptical of that attribution. The painting may be somewhat later than the hopeful 1703 date. 38 x 16 1/16 inches. Ink and colors on silk.

  • Thumbnail for Bamboo in Dew, Pine in Wind
    Bamboo in Dew, Pine in Wind by Huang Daozhou, Jiao Bingzhen

    This very long handscroll includes an additional series of colophons as well as a title frontispiece. It is historically quite interesting as the artist, Huang Daozhou, was a notable Ming patriot and martyr. His biography is included beside the portrait, which precedes the ink bamboo and pine. The authors of the other colophons praise Huang. The painting Bamboo in Dew, Pine in Wind is preceded by a biography of Huang Daozhou, and a portrait of Huang attributed to Jiao Bingzhen. 103 x 15 1/2 inches. Ink on satin for the painting. The portrait can be seen by clicking on the related record below.

  • Thumbnail for The Fearing Cup
    The Fearing Cup by Anonymous

    18 x 12 x 12 inches. Silver cup made in Shanghai. The cup is an example of the metalwork of the early 20th century China. Standing on three sculptural lions, the vessel is furnished with six petal-shaped panels; each is decorated with relief narrative scenes, floral designs and carved dragon motifs. The two handles are modeled into flamboyant dragons with their claws attached to the surface of the cup. A raised shield-shaped section on two central panels is carved with inscriptions surrounded by dragons swirling in the cloud. The inscriptions in English read 'Presented to Mr. Henry D. Fearing by the Chinese students, Amherst, Mass., 1906'. The other panel inscribed in traditional Chinese bears the name of the eleven students: Huang Risheng, Lu Baoxian, Rong Xianren, Lian Qian, Cai Guozao, Liang Laikui, Chen Yaorong, Zheng Heng, Rong Jingqing, Liang Wenji and Liang Qingluan. The two narrative panels are executed in the manner of traditional Chinese scenes. One panel shows an elder couple welcoming a young man to their home and the other depicts the young man leaving the residence of the couple with a sense of confidence and accomplishment. The subject is carefully chosen to serve as metaphor of Mr. and Ms. Fearing's generosity to and guidance for the young Chinese students.

  • Thumbnail for Monkey Clinging to Hillock from an Album of 11 Miniature Sketches)
    Monkey Clinging to Hillock from an Album of 11 Miniature Sketches) by Jin Xiaqi

    These sketches depict animals in landscapes 1) crane by pine and waterfall 2) two horses by stream 3) ox-herder and two oxen crossing a stone bridge 4) dragon cavorting above a frothy sea 5) a pair of peacocks on a riverbank 6) a group of horses in a pasture 7) mandarin ducks in a pond 8) monkey clinging to a hillock 9) white goats on a hillside 10) a pair of white cranes near bamboo 11) three spotted deer, plantain, and rock. Each album leaf is 5 1 /16 x 3 1/2 inches. Ink and colors on silk. To view another image from this album, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Three Friends of Winter
    Three Friends of Winter by Yun Bing

    The subject is not really the three friends since, instead of pine, bamboo, and plum, we have plum, bamboo, two birds, a peony and a rock. The inscription gives Yun Bing, the daughter of Yun Shouping, as the artist, but given the inaccurate descriptive title, the attribution to Yun Bing is debatable. 38 x 16 1/16 inches. Ink and colors on silk.

  • Thumbnail for General Zhu Zhixi in His Garden - title inscription and seal
    General Zhu Zhixi in His Garden - title inscription and seal by Jiao Bingzhen (1689-1726)

    Title inscription and seal attached to handscroll General Zhu Zhixi in His Garden. The inscription gives Jiao Bingzhen as the artist, though the painting is probably later in date. The painting depicts a scene from the biography of General Zhu Zhixi, president of the Board of War for the Kangxi Emperor of the Qing dynasty. A biography is appended. The scene shows the general in a library set into a garden, with servants nearby. To see the entire scroll, click on related record below.

  • Thumbnail for Amitabha Dharani Sutra - frontispiece with illustration
    Amitabha Dharani Sutra - frontispiece with illustration

    On the fiftieth anniversary of his graduation, Charles R. Bennett ('07) gifted this woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art. Dating to the year 975, the Amitabha Sutra is probably the earliest printed object in the college's collection. Consider that the world's earliest dated printed book is the Buddhist Diamond Sutra of 868 (now in the British Library) and that the Gutenberg Bible hails from the mid-1400s. Mr. Bennett, who lived and worked in China for two decades after graduating, remarked that the sutra was recovered from a brick of a pagoda in the city of Hangzhou. Indeed , on September 25, 1924, the famous Leifeng ("Thunder Peak") Pagoda collapsed. Erected by a regional king, the Leifeng Pagoda stood on the southern bank of the scenic West Lake for nearly a millenium. In 2000-01, a team of excavators revealed an underground chamber filled with gilt silver and bronze sculptures along with artifacts of stone and jade. In addition, the excavation confirmed the presence of bricks with cylindrical cavities that once held printed sutras. Bowdoin's sutra, not quite 3 inches high but almost seven feet long, is currently mounted as a handscroll. Its condition attests to its age, but as we may still distinguish from right to left a dedication, an illustration, and a sutra text. The dedication tells us that the king, Wang Qianchu, commissioned 84,000 copies of this sutra to be placed in the pagoda in the 8th month of the year 975. The illustration shows two distinct moments. At right a worshipper kneels at an altar table placed before a holy triad comprised of a seated Buddhist deity and a pair of monks. At left, the deity appears to a beseeching worshipper. Radiant jewels hang from above, fragrant flowers rain down, and a splendid stupa is placed at the center, giving the scene a sacred air. Following the illustration, the text records a story of how Buddha once restored a crumbling pagoda. It seems likely that by placing many copies of this sutra in Leifeng Pagoda, the king could ensure the building's continued existence. From text drafted for a Bowdoin College Museum of Art newsletter by De-nin D. Lee. The entire scroll measures approximately 3" x 7'. Woodblock-printed, illustrated Buddhist text. To view the text that accompanies this illustration, click on related records below.

  • Thumbnail for Chinese table (Board of Bishops detail)
    Chinese table (Board of Bishops detail) by Designed by Carl F. Kupfer, and made by Chinese students at Chinkiang Institute.

    Size: Height: 78.5 cm, length of the table-top: 118.5 cm, width of the table top: 71 cm. Material: Teakwood, Black Lacquer, and Mother of Pearl. The table was designed by Carl F. Kupfer. It was made of teakwood, black lacquer, and mother of pearl by Chinese students at Chinkiang Institute (a mission station) in 1899. No nails were used in its construction. The table is similar to one located in the Baldwin Wallace College Chapel. Both tables have the bishops’ likenesses and Chinese motifs. In the central rectangle of this table, there are figures representing the Board of Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church; at the corners of the rectangle, four small squares contain the likenesses of S. L. Baldwin, W. T. Smith, A. B. Leonard, and A. L. Palmer.

  • Thumbnail for Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: text for treading water pump
    Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: text for treading water pump

    A (Western style) bound volume, consisting of 175 pages with text in English by a missionary, with ink drawings done by a Chinese artist. Text and drawings illustrate Chinese people and their activities with detailed depiction of tools and other objects, and activities of everyday life in Fuzhou. According to Susan Huntington, this sort of book was commonly produced by British missionaries to India. This was a very impressive, interesting group of pictures of daily life and people of China. The black ink sketches on the right hand pages are labeled in Chinese, often with English translations. The left-side pages are English descriptions of the activities and objects illustrated by the ink drawings. Nathan Sites was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church who served in Fuzhou between 1861-1895. He was the first Ohio Wesleyan University graduate to serve as a missionary. The book was designed and commissioned by Rev. and Mrs. Nathan Sites, Methodist missionaries to “Fuhchou.†Drawings were made by a Chinese artist. The purpose of the book was to show relatives and friends in America the customs of Chinese in “Fuhchou.†A letter written November 7th, 1863 appears at the beginning of the journal: “Dear Friends at Home: Feeling anxious to give you as clear an understanding as we possibly could of the people, their dress, employments, mode of life of this heathen country, we hit upon the following plan as the best to convey to your minds their appearance, manner and customs. Most of these sketches are really life-like. We have seen men and women engaged in many of the employments here sketched.â€

  • Thumbnail for Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: Men lighting pipe
    Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: Men lighting pipe

    A (Western style) bound volume, consisting of 175 pages with text in English by a missionary, with ink drawings done by a Chinese artist. Text and drawings illustrate Chinese people and their activities with detailed depiction of tools and other objects, and activities of everyday life in Fuzhou. According to Susan Huntington, this sort of book was commonly produced by British missionaries to India. This was a very impressive, interesting group of pictures of daily life and people of China. The black ink sketches on the right hand pages are labeled in Chinese, often with English translations. The left-side pages are English descriptions of the activities and objects illustrated by the ink drawings. Nathan Sites was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church who served in Fuzhou between 1861-1895. He was the first Ohio Wesleyan University graduate to serve as a missionary. The book was designed and commissioned by Rev. and Mrs. Nathan Sites, Methodist missionaries to “Fuhchou.†Drawings were made by a Chinese artist. The purpose of the book was to show relatives and friends in America the customs of Chinese in “Fuhchou.†A letter written November 7th, 1863 appears at the beginning of the journal: “Dear Friends at Home: Feeling anxious to give you as clear an understanding as we possibly could of the people, their dress, employments, mode of life of this heathen country, we hit upon the following plan as the best to convey to your minds their appearance, manner and customs. Most of these sketches are really life-like. We have seen men and women engaged in many of the employments here sketched.â€

  • Thumbnail for Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: widow arch
    Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: widow arch

    A (Western style) bound volume, consisting of 175 pages with text in English by a missionary, with ink drawings done by a Chinese artist. Text and drawings illustrate Chinese people and their activities with detailed depiction of tools and other objects, and activities of everyday life in Fuzhou. According to Susan Huntington, this sort of book was commonly produced by British missionaries to India. This was a very impressive, interesting group of pictures of daily life and people of China. The black ink sketches on the right hand pages are labeled in Chinese, often with English translations. The left-side pages are English descriptions of the activities and objects illustrated by the ink drawings. Nathan Sites was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church who served in Fuzhou between 1861-1895. He was the first Ohio Wesleyan University graduate to serve as a missionary. The book was designed and commissioned by Rev. and Mrs. Nathan Sites, Methodist missionaries to “Fuhchou.†Drawings were made by a Chinese artist. The purpose of the book was to show relatives and friends in America the customs of Chinese in “Fuhchou.†A letter written November 7th, 1863 appears at the beginning of the journal: “Dear Friends at Home: Feeling anxious to give you as clear an understanding as we possibly could of the people, their dress, employments, mode of life of this heathen country, we hit upon the following plan as the best to convey to your minds their appearance, manner and customs. Most of these sketches are really life-like. We have seen men and women engaged in many of the employments here sketched.â€

  • Thumbnail for Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: inventory-contents of journal
    Sketches of Men and Things of Fuchou China: inventory-contents of journal

    A (Western style) bound volume, consisting of 175 pages with text in English by a missionary, with ink drawings done by a Chinese artist. Text and drawings illustrate Chinese people and their activities with detailed depiction of tools and other objects, and activities of everyday life in Fuzhou. According to Susan Huntington, this sort of book was commonly produced by British missionaries to India. This was a very impressive, interesting group of pictures of daily life and people of China. The black ink sketches on the right hand pages are labeled in Chinese, often with English translations. The left-side pages are English descriptions of the activities and objects illustrated by the ink drawings. Nathan Sites was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church who served in Fuzhou between 1861-1895. He was the first Ohio Wesleyan University graduate to serve as a missionary. The book was designed and commissioned by Rev. and Mrs. Nathan Sites, Methodist missionaries to “Fuhchou.†Drawings were made by a Chinese artist. The purpose of the book was to show relatives and friends in America the customs of Chinese in “Fuhchou.†A letter written November 7th, 1863 appears at the beginning of the journal: “Dear Friends at Home: Feeling anxious to give you as clear an understanding as we possibly could of the people, their dress, employments, mode of life of this heathen country, we hit upon the following plan as the best to convey to your minds their appearance, manner and customs. Most of these sketches are really life-like. We have seen men and women engaged in many of the employments here sketched.â€

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Lady Reclining on a bench in a garden
    Fan painting - Lady Reclining on a bench in a garden by Xiaoyu, or the Lady Feng [?]

    Paintings of both men and women in gardens. A part of the iconography of the most images of women in the gardens is the wall, signifying that she was in a space enclosed. The identification of this woman is uncertain. Xiaoyu is taken from a seal, and the second character of the name (after Feng) is unclear, although even if it were readable there seems to be no likely woman artist with a first character Feng in her name in the dictionary. She does say that she did the work in Shanghai, and since women traveled little, this is likely where she lived. There are many paintings of both men and women in gardens. It is interesting that a part of the iconography of most images of women in gardens is the wall, signifying that she was in a space enclosed, a space that belonged to someone else, and by extension she was property within that space. Perhaps only in dreams could one escape. This work is competent, but not too impressive in either its brushwork or composition.