“Travel, Collecting, and Museums of Asian Art in Nineteenth-Century Paris” with Ashgate. This book examines a history of contact between modern Europe and East Asia through three collectors: Henri Cernuschi, Emile Guimet, and Edmond de Goncourt. Drawing on a wealth of material including European travelogues of the East and Asian reports of the West, Ting Chang explores the politics of mobility
and cross-cultural encounter in the nineteenth century. This book takes a new approach to museum studies and institutional critique by highlighting what is missing from the existing scholarship — the foreign labors, social relations, and somatic experiences of travel that are constitutive of museums yet left out of their histories. The author explores how global trade and monetary theory shaped Cernuschi’s collection of archaic Chinese bronze. Exchange systems, both material and immaterial, determined Guimet’s museum of religious objects and Goncourt’s private collection of Asian art. Bronze, porcelain, and prints articulated the shifting relations and frameworks of understanding between France, Japan, and China in a time of profound transformation. Travel, Collecting, and Museums of Asian Art in Nineteenth-Century Paris thus looks at what Asian art was imagined to do for Europe. This book will be of interest to scholars and students interested in art history, travel imagery, museum studies, cross-cultural encounters, and modern transnational histories.