Joyce Chen Cook Book

In late 1966, a new show made its debut on public television – Joyce Chen Cooks. It was the first nationally syndicated cooking show in America hosted by a woman of color, and it was filmed on the same set as Julia Child's well-known show, The French Chef. For many viewers, Joyce Chen Cooks provided their first glimpse of Chinese style cooking.

Chinese Minority Women Headdresses

Chinese folk papercuts are usually treated as anonymous art, differentiated only by local styles. More recently some scholars have argued that it is necessary to study the artists who make the papercuts to really understand regional styles and the subject matter. Additionally, many of the things portrayed in papercuts are traditional objects no longer commonly used today but remembered through paper art. The study of these papercuts may be able to tell us something about local minority art and culture in China.

Outstanding Kinrande Porcelains in Japanese Collections

Kinrand(金襴手) refers to a Chinese porcelain known as “gold brocade type,” which was highly prized by Japanese tea masters and collectors. Today, many fine examples of this type of ware are found in private Japanese collections. This book remains the only important English-language work on this porcelain type.

Early Chinese Jades

So who authors an important scholarly work on early Chinese jades; maps the main prison camps in Germany and Austria during WWI; writes biographies about Anna Van Schurman, Agnes Strickland, Edgar Allan Poe, and Charles Dickens; writes first-hand accounts of talks of rebel leaders during Ireland’s revolutionary period; and is appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire? That would be the scholar par excellence of Renaissance art John Pope-Hennessy’s mother. 

Giant Pandas: Biology, Veterinary Medicine and Management

In 1972, the Smithsonian's National Zoological Park welcomed its first pair of giant pandas, Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing, as a gift to President and Mrs. Nixon. The second and current pair, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, arrived in 2000 as part of the Chinese giant panda loan program. For over 40 years, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute (NZP/SCBI) has been a leader in giant panda conservation through the study of behavior, health, and reproduction.

La Chine a Terre et en Ballon

This volume tells the story of three French Army officers' balloon expedition through the Peking (Beijing) and Tientsin (Tianjin) areas of China, in 1900 and 1901. Published in 1902, the book includes 41 photographic plates of aerial images of that region of Imperial China, as well as many extraordinary sights on the ground. This rare volume (only 25 copies were printed) is part of the William A. M. Burden aviation book collection donated to the Smithsonian, one of the foundations of the rare book collection in the National Air and Space Museum Library. 

Chinese Armorial Porcelain for the Dutch Market

This is a catalog of Chinese porcelain decorated with Dutch family coats of arms, the arms of Dutch provinces and cities, and monograms. These items were made-to-order for members of the Dutch patrician class. This catalog illustrates and analyzes 455 of the approximately 500 Dutch armorial porcelain services known to exist. It is meant to be used as a reference book, and it includes not only detailed descriptions of the services, but also information about the families who commissioned and acquired this armorial porcelain.

Ai Weiwei: Circle of Animals

This exhibition catalog explores the 2010 monumental work Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads, created by internationally acclaimed contemporary Chinese artist and social activist Ai Weiwei. The work is a reimagining of a Qing dynasty zodiac water-clock system at the Old Summer Palace near Beijing, which was looted in 1850 during the Second Opium War. Ai reinterpreted the original fountainheads in a gold series and a bronze series, as his first monumental public art installation.

Jin Xiu Wen Zhang

Embroidery is an important art in China with examples found from as early as the Zhou Dynasty (1027–221 B.C.). One of the most well-known pieces of Chinese embroidery is a 10th century A.D. textile piece discovered in the Mogao Grottoes at Dunhuang. There are also fine pieces from the Song dynasty. Traditional embroidery is still practiced in many areas of China. The Chinese government has designated four schools of Chinese embroidery as Chinese Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Ancient Chinese Gold

In Chinese culture, gold is associated with power, wealth, longevity, and happiness. It is considered the most valuable and significant gift one can give, and is included in many celebrations, such as weddings, the birth of a child, the New Year, and other important occasions. Historically, gold’s importance made it a valuable ingredient in the "elixir of immortality." It was also important in rituals and ceremonies associated with unsolvable problems or unexplainable natural phenomena.

The Gold Yuan Stamps of China

This is a small orange booklet printed in a tiny typeface. Published in 1977 by the chief authority on Nationalist China postage stamps at the time, this catalogue is number 502 of 1000 printed. It contains stamp listings, general philatelic information, postal history, and an index. What makes this volume special? The fact that the author actually came into contact with all of these stamps.

Emperor Kangxi and The Sun King Louis XIV

Emperor Kangxi and King Louis XIV of France, also known as Louis the Great, were both considered among the greatest rulers of their respective countries. They have been compared politically and militarily, but few comparisons in artistic achievements have been done. Both rulers came to the throne during childhood. They had excellent skills in riding and archery and both were fluent in a number of languages. As a Manchu emperor, Kangxi had a solid command of Mandarin Chinese and Mongolian whereas Louis XIV was versed in French, Italian, Spanish, and Latin.

The Porcelain of Hung-Hsien

In 1913, Yuan Shih-k’ai (Yuan Shikai, 1859-1916) became the first president of the Republic of China after he helped Sun Yan-sen overthrow the last Qing emperor in 1911. In 1915, Yuan proclaimed himself the Hung-Hsien (Hongxian) Emperor but ruled for only 83 days before being forced to back down from his claim. During his very short imperial reign, Yuan ordered Guo Baochang to re-start the manufacturing of imperial porcelain at Jingdezhen which had ceased production with the fall of the last Qing emperor.