Of Battle and Beauty: Felice Beato’s Photographs of China at the Boston University Art Gallery

in Arts, News Releases
August 9th, 2000

Contact: Joan Schwartz, | joans@bu.edu

(Boston, Mass.) — This extraordinary series of images, photographed in 1860 during the Second Opium War, was made by Felice Beato, a commercial photographer who accompanied the British and French forces fighting in China over period of eight months.

They are among the earliest photographs known, and the first taken during an actual military campaign. Beato documented European forces as they seized Beijing, destroyed the Old Summer Palace, and forced the Chinese Empire to accept a new and sweeping treaty.

The exhibition includes 85 photographs, including the earliest known images of Beijing, and the only surviving photographs of Wanshoushan, an imperial park burnt by British forces in 1860. The exhibition was organized by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and exhibited there in March and April of this year. Boston University is the second venue for this exhibition.

Prince Kung, Brother of the Emperor
of China, Signer of the Treaty
November 2, 1860
Albumen Silver Print

Treasury Street, Canton, April 1860
Albumen Silver Print

Courtesy of the Wilson Center for Photography

Exhibition dates: Friday, November 3 – Sunday, December 17

Where: BU Art Gallery, 855 Commonwealth Ave, Boston

John Stomberg, Gallery Director

Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10 am to 5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.

Opening Reception: Friday, November 3, 6 – 8 p.m.

For information: 617-353-3329

Comments are closed.