Abstract: Shanghai's Art Dealers and the International Market for Chinese Art, 1922-1949

Di Yin Lu


This paper examines ordinary people in the Shanghai antiquities trade, which dominated the international market for Chinese art in the first half of the twentieth century. I argue that the mid-century expansion in Chinese art collecting was a workingman's phenomenon, compelled by immigrant dealers who kept up with customers both in China and overseas. Their trade practices reshaped Chinese art collecting at an international level, making a business out of Chinese civilization.