All things old China - books, anecdotes, stories, podcasts, factoids & ramblings from the author Paul French

Bertha Lum’s Gods, Goblins and Ghosts, 1922

Posted: April 10th, 2024 | No Comments »

I’ve written about the American artist resident in Peking for many years, Bertha Lum, before (in my book Destination Peking). She is one of a number of fascinating western women artists who settled in interwar Peking and made a living from their art including Anna Hotchkis and her fellow Scot Elizabeth Keith, Katharine Jowett from England (see my South China Morning Post magazine article here), Mary Mullikin and her fellow Americans Helen Wells Seymour, and the Austrian Emma Bormann, among others.

So I’m always interested when a work by Lum comes up for sale. And here is one that recently popped up – a print from Lum’s 1922 book Gods, Goblins and Ghosts: The Weird Legends of the Far East, signed in pencil and dated 1921. The book is a series of stories about Japanese legends that Lum discovered reading Lafcadio Hearn, who she greatly admired. You can see many more illustrations from the book here.

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