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Chinese Art: Context & Tools

Background & historical context

Fact checking: Dates, Names Places

Transliteration issues

There are three systems for transliterating Chinese characters to the Roman alphabet and one of them, Pinyin, does not use standardized spelling. For example, Zhang Daqian (pinyin), could also be written as Chang Ta-ch’ien (Wade-Giles), or Chang Taichien (artist’s own spelling of his name).

The following charts help convert between Pinyin and Wade-Giles:

Librarian / Research Help

Photograph of Barbara Prior, the Art Librarian

Barb Prior (she/her)  Head, Clarence Ward Art Library
Top Floor, Venturi Art Building
Email us at

Supports classes across the College and Conservatory and those using the Allen Memorial Art Museum

Subject expert for: 
Art & architecture of East Asia, Africa, Latin America, Islam, the Ancient Mediterranean, the Western Middle Ages, the Renaissance & Baroque periods, and Global Art of the 20th c & 21st c.
Complete list of Barb's Research Guides

Schedule a Research Appointment