PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE AMERICAN COLLECTION (LOTS 124-125)The collection of J.M. Hu represents a lifetime’s dedication to connoisseurship and beauty. Across more than half a century, J.M. Hu acquired an exceptional grouping of Chinese ceramics that illuminated the rich history of China and its people. In both his personal collection and in his bequests to cultural institutions, J.M. Hu stood as a model of the modern scholar-collector.Hu Hui Chun was born in 1911 in Beijing; in later years, he changed his given name to Jen Mou. The eldest son of the influential banker Hu Chun, J.M. Hu was raised in an elegant private residence amongst his many stepbrothers and stepsisters. In keeping with tradition, he was given a rigorous background in the Chinese classics; more unusually, this was supplemented by a Western-style education, as well. He first encountered Chinese ceramics during his student years, when he purchased a nineteenth-century brush-washer for his desk. This initial foray into collecting would become emblematic of J.M. Hu’s poignant relationship with art: even amidst the upheavals of war and the evolution of his collection, the modest brush-washer stayed with him until his death in 1995. J.M. Hu’s boyhood studies within the Chinese literati tradition greatly informed his philosophical approach to life and collecting: humble and erudite, he consistently affirmed that it was the visceral connection between a collector and his acquisitions that was of essential importance. True value, in J.M. Hu’s estimation, lay far beyond monetary worth. J.M. Hu’s collection of Chinese ceramics provided abundant opportunity for personal scholarship and historical investigation. As early as the 1940s, he longed for a welcoming social environment where like-minded collectors could share and discuss art and objects. Two decades later, he established the Min Chiu Society in Hong Kong alongside fellow collectors K.P. Chen and J.S. Lee. A noted cultural philanthropist, J.M. Hu gifted substantial groupings from his collection to the Shanghai Museum in 1950 and 1989; many of these objects remain on view in the museum’s Zande Lou Gallery. The collector also arranged to have his family’s set of imperial zitan furniture sent to the National Palace Museum in Taipei for display, and returned the important Siming version of the Huashan Temple stele rubbing to the Palace Museum, Beijing. A selection of ceramics and works of art from the J.M. Hu Collection will be offered in our Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art sale on 22-23 March 2018, lots 794-812.
XIAO XUN (1883-1944)/ZHANG BOYING (1871-1949)
XIAO XUN (1883-1944)/ZHANG BOYING (1871-1949) Landscape/Calligraphy
Folding fan, ink and color/ink on paper
7 7/8 x 20 in. (20 x 50.7 cm.) Landscape inscribed and signed, with two seals of the artist
Dated summer, bingzi year (1936)
The reverse inscribed and signed by Zhang Boying, with two seals of the artist
Both sides dedicated to Bijiang (Hu Bijiang, 1881-1938)
This work is dedicated to Hu Bijiang (1881-1938), who was the father of J.M. Hu.