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Pan Yu Liang's Adventures in Jazz Age Paris

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Asian American / Asian Research Institute - CUNY

25 West 43rd Street

Room 1000

New York, NY 10036

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Among many art, music and literature lovers, particularly devotees of Modernism, the expatriate community in France during the Jazz Age represents a remarkable convergence of genius in one place and period—one of the most glorious in history. Drawn by the presence of such avant-garde figures as Joyce and Picasso, artists and writers fled the censorious cultures of their homes in China, Russia and the United States to head for the free-wheeling scene in Paris, where they made contact with rivals, collaborators, and a sophisticated audience of collectors and patrons.

The outpouring of boundary-pushing novels, paintings, ballets, music, and design was so profuse that it belies the brevity of the era (1918–1929). Among them was the fascinating and supremely talented painter Pan Yu Liang, the first woman from China selected for a scholarship at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. This talk, based on Prof. Charles Riley's book, Free as Gods: How the Jazz Age Reinvented Modernism, will frame Liang's achievement as an artist and teacher, including her tempestuous return to teach in Nanjing and Shanghai, with stories of other notable talents in the creative community of Paris between the wars.

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Asian American / Asian Research Institute - CUNY

25 West 43rd Street

Room 1000

New York, NY 10036

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