Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)


Art and Art History


Conan-Wu Xin

Committee Members

Sibel Zandi-Sayek

Charles Palermo

Kaitlyn Harrigan


The collector and collection in contemporary China that became increasingly matured after the establishment of the first national auction house in 1993 have demonstrated a staggering amount of growth in the past three decades. However, potentially due to its newness, this period of collection in China has yet to capture much scholarly attention. My thesis points out that despite its age, this period has explored new possibilities for collectors’ roles in their collections. In this thesis, I investigated the collectors and collections within this period using past Western literature on collection and resources on the contemporary Chinese art market. Which, two generations of collectors were differentiated due to their vastly different collecting interests and ideologies. While the first generation of collectors in contemporary China explored the newfound art market and laid a collecting foundation with both positives and negatives, the second generation of collectors who are mainly millennials has taken on new roles as collectors. These roles involved collectors as curators, promoters, and educators. Through examining these roles, the thesis proposes that the second generation of collectors in contemporary China is not only addressing the inherent problems of the Chinese art collection and art market but also are creating a new cultural norm within their native landscape and establishing new potentials for art collection.

On-Campus Access Only