Established through a grant from the Bei Shan Tang Foundation in 2022, the Bei Shan Tang book prizes recognize research in Chinese art history.
Bei Shan Tang Monograph Prize
This award honors an outstanding and innovative sole-authored monograph on Chinese art history of any historical period published in the English language. Monographs published in 2022 are eligible for consideration for the 2024 awards.
Bei Shan Tang Catalogue Prize
This award honors outstanding sole- or co-authored research on Chinese art history of any historical period published in the English language. Catalogues published under the direction of a museum, library, or public or private collection, and exhibition catalogues published in 2022 are eligible for consideration for the 2024 awards.
$1,000 award for the author(s).
Guidelines for Submission
- Books bearing a copyright date of 2022 will be eligible for the 2024 awards.
- Publishers must complete the book nomination form.
- Each press may nominate a maximum of six books per Bei Shan Tang Prize competition (monographs and catalogues are separate competitions).
- Only publishers may nominate books.
- Upon receipt of a completed nomination form, publishers will be provided with addresses for prize committee members. A copy of each entry, clearly labeled “Bei Shan Tang Book Prize,” must be sent to each member of the committee.
The nomination deadline has passed. Award recipients will be announced in early 2024.
Bei Shan Tang Prize Committee
William & Mary
Seattle Art Museum
Roberta Wue (Chair)
University of California, Irvine
Monograph Prize Winner and Citation
Aurelia Campbell, What the Emperor Built: Architecture and Empire in the Early Ming (University of Washington Press)
In What the Emperor Built: Architecture and Empire in the Early Ming, Aurelia Campbell examines the Yongle emperor’s ambitious building campaigns as declarations of his imperial authority and political legitimacy. Relying on rigorous archival research and architectural fieldwork, Campbell’s gripping book brings together case studies of Yongle’s monumental projects, located from Beijing and Nanjing to the Wudang Mountains and Tibetan frontier, illuminating his union of architecture and empire. Effectively conceived in an interdisciplinary manner, employing a prose that is clean, engaging, and precise with the inclusion of excellent illustrations, the author creates interlocking narratives as engrossing as they are instructive. This brilliant book is itself a monument of architectural art history in its evocative depiction of the building and meanings of early Ming imperial power.
Monograph Prize Honorable Mention
Catalogue Prize Winner and Citation
Dora C.Y. Ching, Visualizing Dunhuang: The Lo Archive Photographs of the Mogao and Yulin Caves (Princeton University Press)
Exhibition and collection catalogs are indispensable to art historical studies. The nine-volume Visualizing Dunhuang: The Lo Archive Photographs of the Mogao and Yulin Caves is both exemplary of and unusual for the genre in its record of the medieval Buddhist Dunhuang cave sites and the ambitious 1940s photographic expedition undertaken by James and Lucy Lo, whose negatives survive as the Lo Archive at Princeton University. Edited by Dora C.Y. Ching and produced by a team of eleven principal authors and even larger network of experts and scholars, this catalog simultaneously preserves the Mogao and Yulin caves at a particular moment and commemorates the importance of the Los’ extensive archive. It functions as a magnificent reference text, with maps, diagrams, and concordances meticulously organizing the Los’ photographs of the caves’ architecture, sculpture, wall paintings, interiors, exteriors, details, and local landscapes, making it possible for the reader to comprehensively examine the cave complex through their lenses. A concluding volume provides rich historical studies of the Dunhuang caves, archives, Lo expedition and photographs. The product of over a decade’s work by several generations of scholars, this impressive catalog is a unique and forward-looking reflection of the field of Chinese art history itself.