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Exhibition: 黎芳 Lai Fong (c.1839–1890): Photographer of China / Ithaca, until 14 June 2020

The landmark exhibition, 黎芳 Lai Fong (c.1839–1890): Photographer of China presents nearly 50 Lai Fong photographs made in the 1870s and 1880s of China. The photographs have been selected from more than 400 Lai Fong photographs in the renowned Loewentheil Collection, which includes more than 21,000 early photographs of China. These photographs include magnificent views of a rapidly growing Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Beijing, Shanghai, Fuzhou, and Xiamen, and important early portraits of the diverse people of late Qing Dynasty China.

The leading Chinese photographer of the nineteenth century, Lai Fong began his photographic career in Hong Kong in 1859. His professional studio, Afong operated for nearly a century. Lai Fong established and ran his studio for three decades until his death when he passed the studio on to his son and daughter in-law. Its artistic legacy, grounded in traditional Chinese art, influenced generations of photographers including contemporary Chinese image-makers.

黎芳 Lai Fong (c.1839–1890): Photographer of China presents a unique glimpse of China’s rich past through these early photographic masterpieces depicting the people, landscapes, cities, architecture, monuments and culture of China.  This unprecedented exhibition provides a rare opportunity to see China and its people through the lens of the Chinese master photographer at the historical moment before the epochal transformations of the 20th century.

黎芳 Lai Fong (1839–1890): Photographer of China
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University
Ithaca, New York, 6 February 2020–14 Jun 2020

The exhibition was curated by Kate Addleman-Frankel and Stacey Lambrow. Rare early photographs of China by the Chinese photographer Lai Fong, from the Stephan Loewentheil China Photography Collection

It is supported in part by the Helen and Robert J. Appel Exhibition Endowment.

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