Exhibition Themes: Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904–1965)

The life and work of Fu Baoshi was shaped by heritage, philosophy and a desire to nurture creativity informed by his cultural experience. The result: creating a new style that made a definite mark on Chinese history and culture. Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904–1965) is the first retrospective in the Western Hemisphere of the artist who revolutionized the tradition of Chinese ink painting. Here is a timeline to help you understand the world that impacted his work.

Seal Carving

Fu’s formal training culminates in studies in Japan. Art history informs his artistic creativity. His obsession with seal carving lasts throughout his career.


Experiencing war and dislocation, he develops his signature style with compelling images inspired by history, myth, poetry, and nature—combining age honored Chinese techniques with Western and Japanese

pictorial elements.

1950s Fu Baoshi

As Communist policy stresses art for the masses, he depicts revolutionary themes while struggling to defend artistic tradition. Mao’s poetry becomes a source. Fu travels to Eastern Europe painting scenes of Socialist reconstruction and industry.

Fu embarks on sketching tours, capturing the new appearance of China’s territory with patriotic
conviction. He continues to depict propaganda themes, forging his Socialist commitment at critical moments. He dies in 1965.

The exhibition runs until January 8, 2012. Plan your visit and learn about upcoming program and events.

Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965) is organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art with the Nanjing Museum. Additional support is from the Asian Cultural Council.

The Cleveland Museum of Art is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. The Ohio Arts Council helped fund this exhibition with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.


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