A Tour of Art Deco in Shanghai

Wednesday, September 15, 2021 

10:00 a.m. on ZOOM* 

* This is part of the History Interest Group's program. To join this group contact the convenor. If you are not a member of CFUW but would like to join us, email cfuwkanata.president@gmail.com  to request a link to our ZOOM meeting. We always welcome new members. 

Ian Ferguson

Ian Ferguson is a former diplomat who works as an independent scholar and curator.

Ian obtained his M.A. in Art History from Carleton University in 2014. He has published articles in the Canadian Journal of Art History and the National Gallery of Canada Online Magazine. He has lectured in several Canadian cities as well as at the World Art Deco Congress in Buenos Aires in 2019. He also volunteers as a docent at the National Gallery.

This talk will focus on architecture built in the Art Deco style in Shanghai during the inter-war period (1919-39). It explores Shanghai’s colonial history showing why the city counts among the largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world, including hotels, department stores, cinemas and private residences. The talk will situate Art Deco within the growing Chinese interest at that period in Western concepts of luxury, nightlife, graphic art, fashion and furniture. Art Deco can be viewed as an example of how styles and products travel from one region to another. Now part of China’s architectural heritage, Shanghai’s Art Deco also asserts itself in the overall history of modern architecture while paying tribute to the Chinese and foreign architects and workers involved.


Ian's presentation  will focus on architecture built in the Art Deco style in Shanghai during the inter-war period (1919-39).

It explores Shanghai’s colonial history showing why the city counts among the largest number of Art Deco buildings in the world, including hotels, department stores, cinemas, and private residences.

The talk will situate Art Deco within the growing Chinese interest at that period in Western concepts of luxury, nightlife, graphic art, fashion and furniture. Art Deco can be viewed as an example of how styles and products travel from one region to another. Now part of China’s architectural heritage, Shanghai’s Art Deco also asserts itself in the overall history of modern architecture while paying tribute to the Chinese and foreign architects and workers involved.


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