Offers a history and historiography of Shanghai and Shanghai art before turning to the unique circumstances of the late nineteenth-century art world. Taking advantage of Shanghai’s marketplace, professional artists took on multiple roles as entrepreneurs, celebrities, entertainers and public figures as well as image-makers. Serving a large and anonymous urban clientele, artists made contact with their audiences via fan paintings, art advertising and Shanghai’s growing mass media. The introduction highlights the book’s new avenues of inquiry, ranging from art world infrastructures, histories of mass media, print and reception and its use of primary sources such as the newspaper advertisements, the industrially-produced book, artist writings and period guidebooks.
Keywords: Shanghai, Shanghai School painting, Taiping rebellion, Mass media, Print culture, Guidebook culture, Art market, Chinese painting, Modernity, Fame