Cambridge, Mass. Published for the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, by the Harvard University Press, 1938. Ex-Library Second edition. Hardcover. Elephant Folio (19 x 13 1/2"). 1 title plate, softcover text volumes: (x) 25pp, 3 double-sided plates of index, 151 plates. Original tan cloth box portfolio with string ties and green lettering on cover and spine. Extraordinary collection of full page b/w collotype reproductions from the significant collection of Chinese paintings at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. The collection at the Museum was initiated in 1890, when the late Dr. William Sturgis Bigelow deposited his immense collection of art objects from the Far East, including a number of fine examples of Chinese paintings, among them the great Hokké Mandara (Plate 30) and The Sixteen Arhats (Plates 110-124). In 1894 forty-four panels belonging a series of one hundred of Ancient Chinese Paintings, all painted in 1178 and lent by Daitokuji, a famous monastery in Kyoto, were exhibited and five of these important panels were acquired by the museum (Plates 77-81).
When Okakura Kakuzo, a noted Japanese scholar, took charge of the Chinese department a definite effort was made to develop the collection and other important paintings were acquired, such as Ladies Beating Newly Woven Silk (Plate 46B), and the landscape by Tung Yüan (Plate 37). A large number of the paintings reproduced in this portfolio were gifts by the American painter, collector, and scholar Dr. Denman Waldo Ross, among them the scroll entitle Portraits of the Emperors, attributed to Yen Li-pen (Plates 10-24) and considered to be one of the chief art treasures of the world. The second edition of the portfolio contains four additional paintings acquired by the museum since the publication of the first edition in 1933.
The text volume is an English-language index and description of all the plates with their provenance, as well as a list of contributors to the Chinese and Japanese special fund, an index of registration numbers, and a general index at rear. Text in English and Chinese. Minor foxing and sunning of portfolio with light foxing of cloth of flaps. Small spot on front cover frayed. Ex Libris on inside front cover. Plates with minor age toning not affecting images. Light bump to upper corner of plates throughout, not affecting images. Portfolio and interior in overall very good condition. vg. Item #41242