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UAL Research Online

The Dogs of Fo: Gender, Identity and Collecting

Cheang, Sarah (2002) The Dogs of Fo: Gender, Identity and Collecting. In: Collectors : expressions of self and other. Horniman Museum, London, pp. 55-72. ISBN 0951814176

Type of Research: Book Section
Creators: Cheang, Sarah

This article is based on my first body of postgraduate research into the ‘Dogs of Fo’, the highly unusual collection of Chinese porcelain at Preston Manor Museum in Brighton, which was put together in the early twentieth century by Lady Ellen Thomas-Stanford. The collection consists of 124 white ceramic figurines of Chinese lions that are all almost identical.

This article uses ‘The Dogs of Fo’ to present a detailed study of gender and collecting, in which theoretical approaches to private and institutional collecting are re-evaluated in relation to concepts of femininity and material culture. The ways in which women may negotiate notions of male genius and professional identities through their collecting are re-examined, together with the problematising of the definition of ‘collection’ in itself.

The ‘Dogs of Fo’ collection has a history that crosses and recrosses the ideological boundaries between private and public space, especially as Preston Manor museum is currently set up as an example of an Edwardian home. Thus, this article also provides a new discussion of how museum collecting and private collecting can interact.

Official Website: http://www.horniman.ac.uk/collections/publications_detail.php?PUBLICATION_ID=8
Additional Information (Publicly available):

Sarah Cheang's work focuses on cultural exchange between East and West, with a special interest in Chinese material culture and the articulation of gender. My current research centres on two projects, both of which enable me to explore histories of cross-cultural identity, fashion and material culture. The first examines twentieth-century fashions for Chinese things in the West, from garments and hairstyles to wallpapers and Pekingese dogs. The second concerns cultural identity, fashion and corporeality, in a study of ethnic identity, dress and concepts of fashion.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Horniman Museum
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > London College of Fashion
Date: 2002
Related Websites: http://www.fashion.arts.ac.uk/sarah-cheang.htm#
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Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2009 16:23
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2010 15:02
Item ID: 1732
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1732

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