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

Di Yin Lu

Abstract

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.