Cixi, Empress Dowager of China, 1835-1908, Photographs
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
FSA.A.13
Creators:
Xunling, 1874-1943.
Dates:
undated
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
44 Items
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Cixi (慈禧太后), Empress Dowager of China, 1835-1908, Photographs. Forty-four glass plate negatives depicting the Empress Dowager of China, Cixi of the Qing dynasty, taken between 1903 to 1905 by the photographer Xunling (勋龄; ca.1880-1943). Scenes include the empress dowager on the imperial barge, in the Summer Palace (颐和园) with attendants, and individual portraits of Cixi in varieties of court attire. Other important figures of the royal court depicted are Empress Longyu (隆裕皇后; 1868 - 1913), Jinfei ((瑾妃; 1874 - 1924), Princess Der Ling (德龄公主; 1885 - 1944), Rongling (容龄;1882-1973), Lady Yugeng (裕太太), first chief eunuch Li Lianying (李連英; 1848 -1911), and second chief eunuch Cui Yugui (崔玉贵). The negatives were at one time in the possession of Xunling's sister, Princess Der Ling, who used many of them to illustrate her books on Cixi and the imperial Qing court. The collection includes thirty-five original glass plate negatives by Xunling and nine glass plate negatives copied from various sources, likely made for illustrations in Princess Der Ling's books and articles. Included in the acquisitions file is a 4 page typed essay by Lydia Dan (d. 2005), Xunling's niece, which identifies Xunling as the original photographer and describes the history of the photographs and anecdotes relating to Xunling and his family.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The photographs are divided into four groups:
Arrangement
1. Twenty-four large negatives, 24.1 x 17.8 cm (SC-GR-243 to SC-GR-265; unnumbered). Original photographs by Xunling taken in the Forbidden City or the Summer Palace .
Arrangement
2. Eleven smaller negatives, 12.7 x 10.2 cm. (SC-GR-270-272; 276-277; 279-284). Mostly informal portraits of Cixi and the court taken with a more portable camera.
Arrangement
3. Nine smaller negatives, 12.7 x 10.2 cm. (SC-GR-266-269; 273-275; 278; 285). These are copies of prints from other sources, possibly taken for Xunling's sister, the Princess Der Ling to illustrate her English language books and magazine articles. SC-GR-275 is a copy from a worn, damaged print of a famous Xunling photograph. SC-GR-285 is copied from a poor print of SC-GR-265. SC-GR-278 is a detail copied from SC-GR-261.
Arrangement
4. SC-GR-285a is a print of a group of Han Chinese women.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchase. 1966 A.13

Local Numbers
Local Numbers
FSA A.13

Digital Content
More …
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Citation
Cixi, Empress Dowager of China, 1835-1908, Photographs, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Purchase

Custodial History
Custodial History
The negatives were at one time in the possession of Xunling's sister, Princess Der Ling, who used many of them to illustrate her books on Cixi and the imperial Qing court.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photography -- China Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Empresses Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Palaces Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eunuchs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
China -- History -- Qing dynasty, 1644-1912 Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
China Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Beijing (China) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yihe Yuan (Beijing, China) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Forbidden City (Peking, China) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glass negatives Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
China -- Beijing -- Beijing Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cixi, Empress dowager of China, 1835-1908 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Xunling, 1874-1943 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Der Ling, Princess, 1885-1944 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Guangxu, Emperor of China, 1871-1908 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wanrong, 1906-1946 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Li, Lianying, 1848-1911 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
Washington, D.C. 20013
AVRreference@si.edu
https://www.freersackler.si.edu/research/archives/