1st Edition

Nordic Private Collections of Chinese Objects

By Minna Törmä Copyright 2020
    176 Pages 47 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

      This book explores the ways in which Nordic private collectors displayed their collections of Chinese objects in their homes.

      This leads to a reconsideration of how to define collecting and display by analysing the difference between objects serving as decorative or collectible items, while tracing collecting and display trends of the twentieth century. Minna Törmä examines four Scandinavian collections as case studies: Kustaa Hiekka, Sophus Black, Osvald Sirén and Marie-Louise and Gunnar Didrichsen, all of whom had professional backgrounds (a jeweler, two businessmen and a scholar) and for whom collecting became a passion and an educational endeavour.

      This book will be of interest to scholars in art history, museum studies, Chinese studies and design history.

      1. Collections and Collecting; 2. Kustaa Hiekka’s World Tour Souvenirs on Display; 3. Sophus Black and Living in Chinese Style; 4. Scholarly Souvenirs: Osvald Siren’s Chinese Things; 5. The Didrichsens: A Modernist Home for Chinese Objects; 6. Conclusion


      Minna Törmä is a lecturer in the history of art at the University of Glasgow and adjunct professor of art history at the University of Helsinki.

      "The book offers a new perspective on Nordic collections in a transnational context of the collecting of Chinese art and material culture in the late-nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As such, it speaks to scholars of Nordic or Chinese collecting histories as well as, more broadly, any scholars of collecting, museums and design interested in private collections and the interiors in which they are kept."

      --The Society for the History of Collecting

      "A valuable resource for those interested in Asian art and the history of collecting, [the book] outlines the changing status of Chinese objects, their transformation from exotic curios or souvenirs of ethnographic interest to items worthy of scholarly analysis that became appreciated and valued as art along with other aesthetic works from non-Europeans locations."