reviews

“The Face of China”

Philadelphia Museum of Art

The photography show which was seen last spring at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the one which opened during the summer at Asia House here in New York have a lot in common. In fact, they seem in some ways to be a single show which is being put on in installments. In the first place, the two shows deal with the same subject, 19th-century China. They are both now off touring other parts of the country. And they were curated by two men—Michael Hoffman in Philadelphia and Clark Worswick at Asia House—who have collaborated in the past. It is therefore not surprising that there are similarities between the shows. Out of the roughly 100 pictures published in each show’s catalogue, a dozen or more are the same. The similarity between the shows that is ultimately most striking, however, is a certain ambivalence each has toward photography itself. It is the way in which each is undecided about

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