The phenomenon of mass migration between regions of the world has also had a significant influence in the development of Asian art markets in the West. The twentieth century was especially relevant to the discussion as it saw unprecedented displacement of people from their native lands. The following passage presents a snapshot of these political developments which have had a profound effect on the art scene in Europe:
“the great majority of German scholars in Chinese studies and East Asian art history left their country after the Act of 1933: in addition to professors Ferdinand Lessing (1882-1961) and Walter Simon (1893-1981), most of the promising young lecturers and recent Ph.D.s departed. We might therefore expect that this most important single event would have been publicly recognized and discussed in the years directly after 1945, so that we could draw on a rich fund of sources and studies.” (Kern, 1998)
Of late, a refreshing attitude of pluralism is seen in Europe and America with regard to the various other cultures of the world, which has in turn encouraged the popularity of ‘World art’ in general and ‘Asian art’ in particular. Today, one could see exclusive museum collections and university departments dedicated to these art forms. A few of the world’s grandest and the most antiquarian assemblages of these art works are to be found in Europe and America. The most prominent among them is the British Museum, which hosts many masterpieces of Asian art far away from their native cultures, exhibited for ethnographical and cultural understanding of the East. The museum, by conserving, publishing, and exhibiting its collections, attempts to illuminate world cultures for British citizens. Such efforts to enlighten people in the West in their grasp of alien cultures mark a historical break with the conventional attitude of the Western democracies towards other cultures. Among such beautiful pieces of Asian art to be found in the British museum are those such as:
“The painting transcription of the Admonitions of the Court Instructress picture scroll (Chinese: Nushi zhen tujuan), one of the treasures in the British Museum. It was collaboratively made at the British Museum in 1923 by Kobayashi Kokei (1883-1957) and Maeda Seison (1885-1977), two masters of Japanese neo-traditional painting, Nihonga. Since 1924, this Copy of the Admonitions of the Court Instructress (Japanese: Joshi shin zukan no mosha) has been in the collection of Tohoku University Library in Sendai in northeastern Japan.” (McCausland, 2005)
Desai, V. N. (1995)., Re-visioning Asian Arts in the 1990s: Reflections of a Museum Professional. The Art Bulletin, 77(2), 169+.
Katz, P. R. (2002)., Taoism and the Arts of China. The Journal of the American Oriental Society, 122(1), 141+.
Kern, M. (1998)., The Emigration of German Sinologists 1933-1945: Notes on the History and Historiography of Chinese Studies. The Journal of the American Oriental Society, 118(4), 507+.
Mccausland, S. (2005)., Nihonga Meets Gu Kaizhi: A Japanese Copy of a Chinese Painting in the British Museum. The Art Bulletin, 87(4), 688+.
Pyne, K. (1996)., Portrait of a Collector as an Agnostic: Charles Lang Freer and Connoisseurship. The Art Bulletin, 78(1), 75+.
Rastegar, K. (2008, June). Revisiting Orientalism: Edward Said’s Controversial Book Is Now Thirty Years Old. A New Exhibition of Orientalist Paintings at Tate Britain Provides a Timely Opportunity to Revisit Its Argument. History Today, 58, 49+.