182 Items (typed unbound pages with solid wood covers)
Box 1, Folder 9
China -- Description and Travel
Scope and Contents note:
Binding removed, 9 ½" x 6". 182 pages. First entry, 30 June 1925. Last entry, 13 March 1926. Inscribed, "The Memoirs of MA". Wood cover. In the introduction, March wrote, "Chronicles of Benjamin" had, for three years, served as a journal, notebook, and record for himself of places he visited. Said that since he's now not alone that it is fitting to rename his notes, "Memoirs of MA." (Chinese name of his family). ["Chronicles of Benjamin" may be found in Series V, subseries B, photo albums.]
Scope and Contents:
A diary typed by the young Chinese art scholar Benjamin March from June 1925 to March 1926 describing his life in China. Events include March's marriage to the author Dorothy Rowe (1898-1969) in Nanjing, their honeymoon in Hangzhou and Suzhou, and their subsequent life in Beijing. March describes hikes through scenic areas in Hangzhou and Beijing; his acquaintance with scholars such as John Calvin Ferguson and Alan Priest; attending performances by Ruth St. Denis and Mei Lanfang, and his work at Yenching University.
The Memoirs of Ma
Biographical / Historical:
East Asian art historian, curator and lecturer, Benjamin Franklin March Jr., was born in Chicago on July 4, 1899 to Benjamin and Isabel March. He studied, lectured, and wrote in the United States and China and through his works gained respect as one of the foremost authorities on Chinese art during the 1920s and 1930s. March was East Asian art lecturer at the University of Michigan, and curator of Asian art at the Detroit Institute of Art. Although he lived only thirty-five years, Benjamin March was a respected and influential scholar of Asian art.
An interview of Robert Beverly Hale conducted 1984 Mar. 7, by Robert F. Brown, for the Archives of American Art.
Hale speaks of his childhood years living a bohemian life; personal and family friend Marcel Duchamp; his time as a student at the Columbia School of Architecture; being a biology student at Columbia University; studying painting in Paris at Fontainebleau; assisting Waldo Pierce as a secretary; the gold medal from the American Poetry Society; running the publicity department of the Arts Students League; connection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Art News magazine critic in 1930s; tenure in the American wing of the Met; friend Jackson Pollack and the art scene at East Hampton; discussion of drawing the planes of the human body; and writing a book on figure drawing. Hale also recalls Bertrand Russell, Julian Huxley, Henry Oliver Walker, Phil Wiley, George Bridgman, William McNulty, Stuart Klonis, Sam Lewis, Edward Root, Walter Baker, Joseph Hirshhorn, Alan Priest, Albert Gardner, Henry Geldzahler, James Rorimer; David Rockefeller, Alfred Barr, and Terrance Coyle.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Beverly Hale (1901-1985) was an administrator, instructor, and art historian from New York, N.Y.
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 7 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.