Imagining Sculpture: A Short Conjectural History

Stanley Abe


Hirmer Publishers

Imagining Sculpture is the story of the absence of a powerful European idea: Sculpture. In China statues, stele, and other figural objects were made for millennia but were not categorized as Sculpture. Imagining Sculpture explains how they were seen in China as objects beyond the category of Sculpture. Stanley Abe has written a series of short historical and fictional vignettes about travelers, scholars, officials, collectors, and antiquarians who encounter statues, figures, and effigies in China and the West from the fourteenth to the beginning of the twentieth century. Imagining Sculpture is visual, cinematic, and sumptuous, featuring rare photographs, paintings, sketches, letters, and ephemera. With little text, images propel the narrative.