Timothy Brook - Professor of History, University of British Columbia
The Council is pleased to present the 50th Annual Edward H. Hume Memorial Lecture. Chinese connoisseurs of the seventeenth century liked to imagine a perfect alignment between fine art and elegant sensibility. To their great frustration, the art market, which would sell anything to anyone with money, embraced no such ideal. The ambitious connoisseur had to learn how to work the market to his benefit, especially as his demand was drawing forgeries into circulation. The diary of a Ming connoisseur shows us a canny consumer of cultural commodities at work, struggling to re-align commercial values with cultural values that, he believed, transcended the market. He might have succeeded.