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The Tang Architectural Icon and the Politics of Chinese Architectural History

Nancy Shatzman Steinhardt
The Art Bulletin
Vol. 86, No. 2 (Jun., 2004), pp. 228-254
Published by: College Art Association
DOI: 10.2307/3177416
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3177416
Page Count: 27
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The Tang Architectural Icon and the Politics of Chinese Architectural History
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Abstract

The modern study of Chinese architecture was initiated in the 1930s by Western-trained Chinese architects, in particular, Liang Sicheng. Even today, his writings dominate the field. This examination of the effects of a single powerful voice on the study of China's architecture of the Tang dynasty (618-907) demonstrates that Chinese architectural history was intertwined with the life and agenda of Liang Sicheng and was reflective of Chinese politics of the tumultuous decades of the 1930s through the 1970s. As a result, Chinese architecture as we know and understand it has become a selective, even exclusionary set of buildings.

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