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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical / Historical
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Photograph album of Canton
    Date (inclusive): 1870s
    Number: 2010.R.3
    Physical Description: 1.5 linear feet (28 photographs in 1 album)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles 90049-1688
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10020/askref
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: The disbound album of 28 albumen photographs of Canton (Guangzhou), China and surrounding areas comprises a mix of Chinese scenes (temples, gardens, tea houses, rice fields) and images related specifically to the European community in Canton and its activities.
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    Language: Collection material is in English with some French.

    Biographical / Historical

    The compiler of the album is unknown. was likely a European residing in Canton during the 1870s.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Photograph album of Canton, 1870s, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2010.R.3.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Acquired in 2010.

    Processing Information

    The finding aid was written by Beth Ann Guynn in 2020.

    Digitized Material

    The collection was digitized circa 2010 and the images are available online:

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The disbound album of 28 photographs of Canton (Guangzhou) and surrounding areas compiled by an unidentified person in the 1870s. Based on the content of the album the compiler was likely a European residing in Canton at that time. The photographs comprise a mixture of Chinese scenes (temples, gardens, tea houses, rice fields), and images related specifically to the European community in Canton (Fort Macao; the European Concession on Shamian; the English church). Photographs recording the European community include three images taken at the Canton race course, two of which show the community gathered en masse; two group photographs taken on picnics in the Canton area; and a scene from an amateur theatrical production. One photograph reproduces a portrait painting or print of a young Chinese woman.
    Two photographs are identified as being by Lai Fong and it is likely that he or his studio took a number of the images, as his studio frequently documented the events and outings of the denizens of the Western settlements in the treaty ports.
    The album has blue paper covers. Captions are written on the mounts below the images in two different hands. Twenty-four English captions are written in pencil and four French captions are in ink. Two captions bear the date 1873. The image titles are taken from the captions.


    Arranged in a single series: Series I. Photograph album of Canton, 1870s.

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Lai, Fong, approximately 1839-1890

    Subjects - Topics

    Europeans -- China

    Subjects - Places

    Guangzhou (China) -- Description and travel
    Shamian (China) -- Description and travel

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photograph albums -- China -- 19th century
    Albumen prints -- China -- 19th century
    Photographs, Original.
    Group portraits -- China -- 19th century