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American photographer’s old China pictures go on display

Shanghai Municipal Archives today put on display a collection of nearly 100 old photos of Shanghai and other Chinese cities donated by the Duke University library.

The photos were taken by US photographer and sociologist Sidney Gamble during his four trips to China between 1908 and 1932. Many of the photos have never been publicized before including three of Sun Yat-sen’s funeral in Beijing. Sun was a renowned statesman who led the revolution to end imperial rule in China. In one of the photos, a coach carried a portrait of Sun Yat-sen while people were watching on both sides of the road in Beijing.

A dozen photos taken in Shanghai around 1910 show wheelbarrows, rickshaws on the Bund and sampans on Suzhou Creek and the Huangpu River.

“His photos represent an extraordinary contribution to the visual archive for an important period in Chinese history in which few images survive today,” an official with the archive said.

Other important historical moments include the opium burning in Shanghai, Beijing and Guangzhou, and the just destroyed Yuanmingyuan Garden in Beijing.

The exhibition is free and continues through September at the Shanghai Municipal Archives at the Bund. Visitors need to bring either their identity card or passport to gain entry.


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