Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Indie for the Holidays egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Luxury Beauty Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals Indie for the Holidays in Prime Music Shop Now HTL

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Picturing Chinatown: Art ... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: In great condition; looks very nice; has light stain on the edges
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Picturing Chinatown: Art and Orientalism in San Francisco Hardcover – October 1, 2001

2 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$19.93 $7.47
Paperback, Import
"Please retry"

Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book
$52.95 FREE Shipping. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Picturing Chinatown: Art and Orientalism in San Francisco
  • +
  • Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Politics and Society in Twentieth-Century America)
Total price: $70.05
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The public perception of San Francisco's Chinatown, home to thousands of ethnic Chinese since the earliest years of the city, has been largely based on the writing and imagery of non-Chinese observers with varied agendas. Portrayed by some as an exotic and dangerous site of tong wars and opium dealing, it was also seen as a crowded living space occupied by sensible, hard-working immigrants. Lee (art, Mount Holyoke Coll.) has attempted to show how outsiders pictured Chinatown by closely analyzing almost 150 photos and paintings from the 1850s to the 1950s. Included are the well-known works of Arnold Genthe and Dorothea Lange, as well as images from the San Francisco Police book of mug shots. Missing from the roster of mostly formal and artistic works are the scores of casual snapshots that must exist in private hands. In addition, Lee does not attempt to use images found in the commercial advertising or popular media of the day. The result is well written, well researched, and beautifully produced, but ultimately this is an academic study that carefully notes crisp facts and then shelves them for other academics to pore over in quiet libraries far from the streets of Chinatown. The real question that Lee approaches but never really descends from the ivory tower to wrestle with is how it feels to have your place in America always defined by other people. David McClelland, Philadelphia
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"Contains over 160 striking images made between 1850 and 1950." -- Doubletake magazine

"Well written, well researched, and beautifully produced." -- Library Journal

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520225929
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520225923
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 7.5 x 10.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W Boudville HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Don't be misled by the choice of the title. The book is not a coffeetable-type photomontage of San Francisco's Chinatown. It is certainly replete with many photographs and illustrations from Chinatown of the 19th century and early 20th century. No doubt to some readers, these will be the main attraction. Revealing in often hazy black and white the details of a vanished and important subculture of the US.

But Lee has integrated the visuals with a narrative that places the images squarely in the context of when they were taken, and of the accuracy of their representations of that culture. He analyses the photographers that took these pictures, and their motives for doing so. Several were not of Chinese ethnicity. But sought to present visuals to explain what was then a very exotic society to an average white American reader.

Aside from the contemporary photos, Lee also explains the art that came out of Chinatown in those years. The artwork shown in the book tends to be quite different from the traditional Chinese calligraphy and landscape themes. Instead, there are traces of influence by the European and American art movements of the day.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Duane Deterville on November 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Anthony W. Lee's book Picturing Chinatown, Art and Orientalism in San Francisco is an accounting of the history of Chinatown between the years1850 and 1950 that uses photography and painting as its main sources. His two primary organizing motifs are "desire" and "difference." Lee characterizes desire as often times invidious and the notion of difference is how the pictures expose the needs and aspirations of their creators. He locates the intersection of these two motifs in the paintings and photographs of Arnold Genthe, Carleton Watkins, Theodore Wores, Louis Stellman, Edward Deakins, Isaiah West Tabor amongst others. One of the author's main premises and method of defending his thesis is the idea that many of the forms that are considered modernist are tied to the discourse surrounding race relations. Edward Said's notion of Orientalism (forming bodies of knowledge about the racialized other as a precursor to conquest) is one of the main theoretical tools that Lee uses to defend his argument. The structure of his argument is broken into six chapters: The Place of Chinatown, Picturesque Chinatown, Photography in the Books, Revolutionary Artists and The Forbidden City.

The first chapter titled The Place of Chinatown, covers the early history of Chinatown's geography. Lee describes Chinatown as a fulcrum or crossroads between the docks that all new settlers had to come through and the San Francisco hills inhabited by non-Chinese settlers. It is significant that all of the settlers had to traverse Chinatown in order to make a place in San Francisco. The settlers, both Chinese and non-Chinese, were predominantly male. The early photographers gained employment through photographing the Chinese. However, the photographic practice was also a way for the non-Chinese to reclaim space.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Picturing Chinatown: Art and Orientalism in San Francisco
This item: Picturing Chinatown: Art and Orientalism in San Francisco
Price: $52.95
Ships from and sold by

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Want to discover more products? Check out this page to see more: art museum