Royal Asiatic Society in collaboration with Rockbund Art Museum Time Traveler Exhibition 3/11/12 – “The RAS Legacy in Shanghai”Posted: November 2nd, 2012 | No Comments »
Royal Asiatic Society in collaboration with
Rockbund Art Museum
Time Traveler Exhibition
Saturday 3rd November 2012 at 7.00pm promptly
Registration 6.30pm – Entrance 30 rmb
Venue: 1F, Associate Mission Building, No.169 Yuan Ming Yuan Road
“More Than a Stuffed Bird Show
- The RAS Legacy in Shanghai”
In 1857 the founding fathers of the Royal Asiatic Society in Shanghai foretold that the city was destined to be the greatest and most influential city in the Far East. With some essential civic amenities in place – an administrative body, a church, a hospital, a racecourse and a park, they judged that the time was ripe for ‘social cultivation’ and ‘intellectual improvement’. Those pioneers embarked on their investigations into China in an age of huge profiteering when Shanghai’s unique cultural milieu was being melded as an outcome of the ravages of the Taiping Rebellion.
The Society opened its first building on the site where RAM sits today in 1874 and in the latter part of the 19th century today’s Rockbund district was a thriving centre for British social and civic life. Shanghailanders and visitors could delight over Gilbert & Sullivan opera’s at the Lyceum Theatre, be put on trial at the British Court for their foibles, attend services and fêtes at the Union Church and take to the waters from the Rowing Club. They could also freely engage in learned activities at the RAS North China Branch, browse the magnificent library where its renowned journal had pride of place, or explore the mammoth collection of stuffed birds and animals in its museum. In the early 20th century Shanghai could fairly claim to be the greatest city in the Far East and the new RAS building, opened in 1933, embraced a vision of the future in the mesh of the past. The building and all that it embodied was in many ways a projection of one man’s dreams and determination. That man was Arthur de Carle Sowerby, renowned naturalist, explorer, author, activist, curator of the museum and later RAS President, whose prime ambition was only realised with the opening of RAM in the building in 2010 – a fin de siècle of contemporariness and history.
Peter Hibbard will examine and illustrate the history, the vicissitudes and the revival of the RAS in Shanghai in its pursuit of promoting cultural life in the city and beyond, and explore the fate of its historical collections.
Peter Hibbard MBE, an urban planner and sociologist, turned his attentions to the development of the Chinese tourism industry in 1983. He was a Visiting Scholar at Hong Kong University’s Centre of Asian Studies in 1985/86 and lectured in tourism studies at the Beijing Institute of Tourism thereafter, before moving to Shanghai in 1991. He has devoted much of his life to researching the historical development of Shanghai and of tourism in China. Peter is very much concerned with promoting links with the past and with fostering awareness, understanding and appreciation of Shanghai’s unique historical inheritance. He was President of the re-convened Royal Asiatic Society China in Shanghai from to 2007 to 2011 and is the author of “The Bund Shanghai: China Faces West“, “Beyond Hospitality: The History of the Hongkong and Shanghai Hotels, Ltd.” among other works.
Registration 6.30pm – Entrance 30 RMB
RSVP: to RAS Bookings at: bookings@royalasiaticsociety.
MEMBERSHIP applications and membership renewals will be available at this event.
RAS MONOGRAPHS – Series 1 & 2 will be available for sale at this event. 100 rmb each
VIEWING THE EXHIBITION: those attending the lecture will have the opportunity of viewing the Time Traveler Exhibition before the talk.
Please meet at The Rockbund Art Museum 5.30pm-6.00pm free admission.
ROCKBUND ART MUSEUM (RAM) – Time Traveler Exhibition:
29th September – 9th December 2012
RAM Address, 20 Huqiu Road, Huangpu District, Shanghai