Collection CPC - China Visual Arts Project Archive

Struggle to realise and surpass the magnificient 10 year plan by 1985 Criticise hard, work hard and greatly improve the Dazhai standard Go all out to achieve basic construction work in the fields and struggle to popularize the Dazhai... Man's determination will triumph over nature. Go full stream ahead and speed up the building of Dazhai county The new face of the riverine areas The new face of the riverine areas Dazhai Commune Fish pond A village in the prosperous countryside
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China Visual Arts Project Archive


  • 1949-2015 (Creation)

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2 bays, 1 plan chest.

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Administrative history

Founded in 1977 by John Gittings. Known as the Chinese Visual Aids Project (CVAP) from 1980-1984, when it was managed by John Gittings and Anna Merton. It was later known as the Chinese Poster Collection.

Archival history

The collection was founded in 1977 by the writer and journalist John Gittings, then Senior Lecturer in Chinese at the Polytechnic of Central London (PCL). It was initially called the China Visual Arts Project, to provide a teaching and learning resource on the Mao era. Over the years it grew, with contributions from colleagues, students and friends who studied and travelled in China during the 1960s and 1970s. A number of posters were later acquired at auction.

Gittings left PCL in 1983 for the Guardian newspaper. The collection remained in the School of Languages for some time before moving to the Centre for the Study of Democracy, then the Contemporary China Centre. In 2015 the collection was transferred to the University of Westminster Archive. Although informally known as the Chinese Poster Collection for some years, the decision was made to revert to the collection's original name, in order to reflect the true scope of its contents and the original aims of the project.

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Conditions governing access

Access is subject to signing the Regulations for Access form, unless the records are restricted under the Data Protection Act 2018 or under exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

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Publication note

Not Just Curious Objects: The China Visual Arts Project Archive by A. McNally
Journal of Design History, Volume 31, Issue 4, 1 December 2018, Pages 383–394

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