Ann Tompkins (Tang Fandi) and Lincoln Cushing Chinese Poster Collection,
East Asian Library, U.C. Berkeley

A partially-processed collection assembled by Ann Tompkins, a U.S. citizen invited to China after supporting the People's Republic of China at the 1965 World Peace Conference in Stockholm. She spent five years in Beijing teaching English, and returned several times subsequently. Her passion for the worker-friendly graphic art of China prompted her to accumulate what promises to be the largest U.S. collection of posters produced during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

Collection Book Catalog
unprocessed Chinese postersThese posters were donated to U.C. Berkeley's East Asian Library and the Center for the Study of Political Graphics. This collection was featured in the Winter 2007 EAL newsletter. cover of Chinese Posters book screenshot of web catalog

"The Ann Tompkins (Tang Fandi) and Lincoln Cushing Chinese Poster Collection preserves a genre of art that was known to and accepted by hundreds of millions of Chinese during the years of the Cultural Revolution. The posters’ images and the directives they supported once influenced a quarter of the world’s population. Anyone attempting to understand this period will want to study these posters, not simply as illustrations of the era but as expressions of its ideals and vicissitudes. These posters were everywhere in China during the Cultural Revolution. Although seldom encountered today, they occupy an important place in history and are a valued addition to the East Asian Library’s collections."
-Peter Zhou, EAL Director

"The holdings continue to grow, and a recent addition is a highly valued collection of political posters from China's Cultural Revolution that, as Zhou notes, vividly convey the ideals and upheaval of what has been called "the largest social-engineering effort in the history of mankind."
-"Cal's East Asian library's gold is on shelves,"
by Charles Burress, San Francisco Chronicle, Monday, March 17, 2008.

Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, by Lincoln Cushing and Ann Tompkins, 2007.
Order details here.

Other recent poster books, including several on Chinese posters.

Red all over, 2007 article in American Institute of Graphic Arts Voice on U.S.-China-Cuba graphics.

S.F. Chronicle book review section comment:
"Of course, any period in the past was more complex than any conventional period." -Michael S. Roth, President of Wesleyan University

This entire collection has been digitized and is in the process of being cataloged. A web catalog is available here, with items listed by date.

Posters from this collection have been used for the covers of:

-Journal of Asian Studies 11/2008

-New World Coming - The Sixties and the Shaping of Global Consciousness, 2009

-The Cold War in Asia: The Battle for Hearts and Minds, 2010

Other Chinese poster article links:

"Vibrant Chinese Propaganda Art" by Lars Hasvoll Bakke, May 2009


(left) "Statement in Support of American Black People's Anti-Repression Struggle"
Larger view | Text translation

Return to Docs Populi
this page is a Wikipedia resource on "Propaganda in the People's Republic of China"
updated 2/21/2023

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