M. Loo – The Novel of an Asian Art Dealer
Evening Presentation by Geraldine Lenain, International Head of the Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art department at Christie’s
Drinks reception at 6.30 pm
Presentation at 7.00 pm
Close at 8.00 pm
In this lecture Géraldine Lenain will reveal the exceptional life of C. T. Loo (1880-1957), the most important dealer of Asian art of the first half of the 20th century. Born to a humble family in an obscure village on the banks of the Yangtze River, C. T. Loo established himself in Paris and New York where he transformed Western taste for ‘chinoiseries’ into one for real Chinese art. Whether at his pagoda in Paris or at his Fifth Avenue gallery in New York, European and American collectors were able to discover monumental sculptures, Buddhist frescoes, archaic bronzes and jades.
Ms Lenain will show that behind the respected and romantic figure of this great dealer lies an extraordinary and controversial story. While C. T. Loo was honoured in the West for having enriched public and private collections, he was also a secretive and manipulative man whom China accused of looting national treasures. After the 1949 Liberation, Loo miraculously managed to escape retaliation but the fate of his associates was more tragic.
Following the publication of her book in French and in Chinese translation, Ms Lenain will share her research of the past eight years and offer a fascinating insight into the encounter between China and the West through the art world of the time, its major figures and dealing practices in Paris, London, New York and Shanghai.
Géraldine Lenain is an art historian. She lived much of her childhood in China. Based in Shanghai since 2010, she is the International Head of the Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art department at Christie’s.