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Comparative Study of Chinese and Western Art Education Reforms in the Early20thCentury (1900-1936)

Author: YingYiWen
Tutor: RenPing
School: Zhejiang University
Course: Chinese classical literature
Keywords: Art Education Reform Comparison of Chinese and Western Innovation InfluenceStudy
CLC: J12
Type: PhD thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 459
Quote: 0
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During the early20th century, the art education in China presented a situation in which Chinese and Western learning paradigms went hand in hand, giving play to the advantages of both. The traditional Chinese painting academy, the master-apprentice mode of art education, and the and teaching of Western painting saw parallel development. The Chinese national culture and Western art ideology were both fully included. As a result, the art education in China entered a special period of transition marked by exploration and truth, reference and development, and inheritance and reform. In the same period, art education in the West and the styles of its creative arts underwent significant reforms following the social changes and economic turmoil from the end of World War I to the eve of World War Ⅱ. The impacts of the Expressionist and the Reconstructionist led to the parallel development of two trends in Western art education.This dissertation explores the sigmificance and influence of the transition of art education in China in the first period of the20th century from a comparative perspective of Chinese and Western art education reforms. It extends from a macroscopic analysis of Art Education Regulations to the microscopic study of art materials, art curriculum and art educator’s teaching practices.The dissertation is divided five chapters. Chapter Ⅰ makes a comprehensive and methodical review of ancient texts, documents and literature on Chinese traditional painting education over a period of more than1500years. It sums up the characteristics and reform initiatives of traditional Chinese art education, and the historical roots of the Chinese art education transformation in the early20th century. Chapter Ⅱ sketches the history of introducing Western art education system into China, traces Cai Yuanpei’s thoughts on Western aesthetics back to its origin, and outlines the influence of returned students from abroad who pioneered the introduction of the Western art education system into China. Chapter Ⅲ expounds how art educators in China studied and accepted the Western art thinking, thereby contributing to the art education reform in the country. The noted Western art educator Arthur Weslay Dow is taken as an example to show the similarities and differences between Chinese and Western art education concepts. Chapter IV interprets Western art education regulations, analyzes their advantages and disadvantages, and sums up the characteristics and guiding concepts of Chinese art education regulations from1900to1936. On this basis, it enumerates the specific steps to apply thoughts about Western art education reform to the art education in China. Chapter V elaborates all kinds of art textbooks and art materials which were published in China and the most popular art textbooks and art education literature in Western countries from1900to1936, offering an overall view of the situation and characteristics. Through a comparison of the teaching paradigms of Chinese and Western art curriculums, it seeks to provide an insight into the Chinese art education reform and the significance of its transformation in the early20th century.The author attaches special importance to the study of historical literature, trying to thoroughly digest historical materials on the one hand, and conduct, on the other hand, on-the-pot investigations in Western countries as well as in China. In so doing, the author hopes to provide some new, original ideas on the Chinese art education transformation in the early20th century.

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