Two Chinese Family and University Photo Albums, Pre- and Post-Cultural Revolution [Photo Album, China, Vernacular Photography]

Price: $200.00

Quantity: 1 available

Book Condition: Very Good


The photographs are housed in two spiral-bound, magnetic photo albums made by Seagull (Shanghai) and Flying Eagle (Tianjin). The first album, featuring a river scene on the cover, measures 25 by 30 cm, and has 10 leaves (20 pages) with 151 photographs. It has light edge wear and chips and the hinges have small cracks. The second album, featuring a gymnast on the cover, measures 28 by 24.5 cm, and has 10 leaves with 85 photographs. Faint wear to the cover. The “magnetic” pages in both albums are yellowed.

The “river” album is more of a family album. It is full of portraits and school pictures—both pre- and post-Cultural Revolution—as well as snapshots of family outings, wedding photos, and school groups. A Chinese acquaintance took a look at the album and believed that the main gentleman in the album is the father who, based on his clothing, was probably a wealthy businessman that was forced to nationalize his company or the company he worked for. The wedding photos, he relates, are from before the revolution because “you’d go to prison if you wore something like that after [the revolution] and most people couldn’t have dreamed of having a wedding dress like the lady in the pictures.” Two of the portraits are in color, which was, apparently, rare at the time, and some of the clothes are traditional Chinese dress, so they were also taken prior to the revolution. Of course, there are plenty of revolution or post-revolution images as well—lots of caps with red stars. There is one photograph from the 1980s of a university that features in the second album.

The “gymnast” album is more of a college yearbook. After the revolution, there were no colleges until 1978, and when they resumed there were no printed yearbooks, so students would create their own with pictures of classmates, friends, the campus, and outings. This would have been an early class, starting just a few years after university educations were once again offered. The student, presumably a son of the gentleman featured in the first album, graduated in 1984 with a textiles major and English minor from the Chengdu University of Science and Technology in Chengdu, the capital city of Sichuan Province. The album contains tourist snapshots of Wuxi, near Shanghai, as well as images of an internship the young man took part in. Several of the group portraits have captions within the images, and there are printed captions that accompany twenty-nine of the photos.

Title: Two Chinese Family and University Photo Albums, Pre- and Post-Cultural Revolution [Photo Album, China, Vernacular Photography]

Author Name:

Categories: Asia, Photographs - Photo Albums, Scrapbooks, Photo Albums,

Publisher: np, nd

Binding: Photo Albums

Book Condition: Very Good

Seller ID: 3240