Chinese Posters: Propaganda, Politics, History, Art
Chinese Posters offers a rich collection of over 1,600 Chinese propaganda posters, representing a time period from 1841 to the present day, and a rich range of political, social, cultural, and visual themes. Offered through the generosity of the Chinese Posters Foundation and edited by Stefan Landsberger (as well as co-editor and webmaster Marien van der Heijden), the site represents a portion of the collections of Stefan Landsberger along with the International Institution of Social History (IISH, Amsterdam, Netherlands) and that of an anonymous private collection.
The site offers a range of organizing features including a Theme page, with full listing of over two hundred featured image theme collections laid forth in historical sequence, to a Gallery highlights page and an Artists search engine with over 1,700 names included.
Specific images found on the site also included useful background texts that illuminate their historical context and provide translation of Chinese text appearing within the image itself. Bibliographic references and external links are also provided as sources and related readings.
An invaluable resource for the study of modern China from a range of perspectives and approaches, the images presented offer a wonderful set of primary sources on revolution, national identity, economic development, as well as themes of gender and inter-generational relationships.
The presentation of thematic categories at this site focuses upon dominant themes within state propaganda. Students can look at multiple categories to compare different visual representations of the family, gender, nationalism, education, etc. For example, one could look at Combat Illiteracy Campaigns (1950-1956) versus Educational Series (1994), or any two collections, to consider changes in audience, imagery, and messaging over a forty-year period. Teachers may even want to compare posters from other countries to examine how visual representations varied by nation-state.
This review was originally written for the Children and Youth in History project. It was revised for World History Commons by Daniel Howlett, George Mason University.