This photograph depicts Duanfang and other men surrounding a bronze altar set that was later acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The photograph was acquired by art historian Laurence Sickman, who lent if for many years to the Metropolitan where it was displayed in the galleries with the bronze alter set.
Biographical / Historical:
Duanfang was an officer in the Qing court who amassed an important art collection, which included jades, bronzes, paintings and sculpture. Duanfang worked in many different positions, including as a customs officer and a provincial governor. In the summer of 1905, Duanfang travelled to the West to research how governments in the United States and Europe functioned. In 1911, Duanfang travelled to Sichuan Province to oversee railroad construction. At the outbreak of the Xinhai Revolution, Duanfang was beheaded by his own imperial troops, who were sympathetic to local revolutionaries.
Collection is open for research.
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