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藏家筆記 vol.1 何鴻卿爵士的中國藝術收藏 - Sir Joseph Hotung Collection.


Sir Joseph Hotung with Queen Elizabeth, 1992



古人認為玉體現了完美君子--君子的所有美德。正如許多人指出的那樣,何鴻卿爵士--慈善家、收藏家(尤其是中國玉器收藏家)和商人--是真正意義上的君子,也是具有公民意識的人道主義的典範。可以說,他給世界留下了一個更加美好的世界。然而,由於他與生俱來的謙遜和保持低調的願望,他的名字在世界舞台上並不廣為人知。


何鴻卿爵士是羅伯特-何東爵士的孫子,1930 年出生於上海,在中國接受教育,先在上海,後在天津聖路易學院學習(1948-1949 年)。他在上海度過了許多戰爭歲月,對何鴻卿爵士和上海的許多其他人來說,這段時期是匱乏和不確定的時期。但他認為那段歲月塑造了他的性格;他說他的韌性和決心就是在那段時間培養起來的。後來,他在香港上了一年大學,但隨後決定前往美國,在華盛頓特區的天主教大學攻讀經濟學學位,並以優異成績畢業。在美國結婚後,他在 Marine Midland 銀行擔任了數年的安全分析師。在一年多的時間里,父親和祖父相繼去世,何鴻卿爵士回到了香港。20 世紀 60 年代,他開始自己創業,主要從事商業地產開發。




何鸿卿爵士专场:4.69亿!一次教科书式的拍卖 - Sir Joseph Hotung, Sotheby's HK 2022.
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何鴻卿爵士人生的下一階段以香港為中心,在那裡他扮演了非常積極的角色。他繼承了祖父和父親的事業,參與房地產開發。他曾擔任匯豐控股董事、香港上海匯豐銀行有限公司董事、香港電燈集團董事以及中國東方投資公司董事。正是在這一階段,他對藝術的熱愛真正凸顯出來,並成為香港藝術發展局的首任主席。此時,他也成為了一名嚴肅的藝術收藏家,尤其對中國玉器情有獨鍾。2006 年,何鴻卿爵士捐贈了一億港元,並由政府配捐,用於成立香港資優教育學院。他還出資在上海博物館設立了一個玉器展廳。他曾擔任司法事務委員會和稅務上訴委員會成員。他還是香港大學商學院的創始成員之一。


何鴻卿爵士在港期間,越來越多地投資美國,並積累了令人印象深刻的商業地產投資組合。他經常訪問美國,他對藝術的熱情和知識使他受邀擔任多家博物館的董事會成員,包括紐約大都會藝術博物館和亞洲協會,以及華盛頓特區弗里爾美術館的訪問委員會成員。他的商業頭腦和藝術知識是難得的組合,備受重視。


Cong China; Liangzhu culture  (3300–2200 BC) Jade; height 49.5 cm Hotung Collection


Brushpot China; 18th century Jade; diameter 19 cm Hotung Collection


何鴻卿爵士生命的最後階段以倫敦為中心,大英博物館成為他支持藝術的主要場所。他與大英博物館的聯繫始於何鴻卿爵士建議改善東方展廳的照明,因為他在倫敦旅行時喜歡在那裡欣賞玉器收藏。該部門的館長,也就是現在的傑西卡-羅森(Jessica Rawson)夫人教授說服他說,在牆壁上挖洞鋪設新的照明電纜意味著整個展廳都需要翻新。何鴻卿爵士幾乎沒費什麼口舌,就同意提供資金補貼。1992 年,女王陛下為美術館揭幕,並給予了高度評價。這也是大英博物館的一個重要里程碑,因為何鴻卿爵士的先鋒姿態激勵著其他贊助人紛紛效仿。令人驚訝的是,25 年後,當展廳再次需要翻新時,何鴻卿爵士再次找到了大英博物館,並心甘情願地支付了整個翻新工程的費用。2017 年,英國女王陛下也為這座全新設計的畫廊--何鴻卿爵士中國與南亞畫廊揭幕。


此外,何鴻卿爵士還是 2000 年大英博物館大宮廷的主要捐贈者,也是中東部的支持者,他對中東地區的古代歷史、藝術和當代政治都很感興趣。 何鴻卿爵士被譽為 "白衣騎士",因為他在 2009 年出資將珀西瓦爾-大維德爵士(Sir Percival David)的中國陶瓷收藏重新安置在大英博物館中。何鴻卿爵士認識到,藝術是教育的國際語言,它為許多公眾提供了瞭解其他社會文化和歷史的唯一機會。何鴻卿爵士於 1994 年成為大英博物館的托管人,並於 2004 年成為名譽托管人。


1993 年,何鴻卿爵士被伊麗莎白女王授予爵士稱號,以表彰他對許多教育和政府組織的貢獻和參與,以及他的眾多慈善活動。1996 年,他獲得萬寶龍文化基金會頒發的藝術贊助獎。





何鴻卿爵士最初的收藏興趣是歐洲繪畫和荷蘭古代藝術大師的作品,但在 20 世紀 70 年代末,他一時衝動從舊金山一家畫廊購買了一對清代(1644-1911 年)白玉碗。這第一次購買引起了他對清代玉器的好奇心,後來和許多其他收藏家一樣,他對古玉的抽象形式產生了興趣。


他玉器收藏的核心是 1979 年紐約蘇富比拍賣會上的麥金藏品,這些藏品最初來自 C. T. Loo;這些藏品的流散被認為是第二次世界大戰以來積累大量古玉收藏的最好機會。通過經銷商安思遠(Robert Ellsworth),他從阿貝爾-威廉-巴爾(Abel William Bahr)二十年代的收藏中購得了一些玉器,並於1983年從理查德-C-布爾(Richard C. Bull)的收藏中購得了一些重要的玉器。1983年,他又從理查德-C-布爾(Richard C Bull)的藏品中購買了一些重要的玉器。


當時,這被認為是最後一次有機會購買到質量上乘、稀有罕見的古玉器。肯禮夫勳爵和尤摩弗帕勒斯(Lord Cunliffe & Eumorfopoulos)的收藏以及在香港的購買進一步豐富了他的收藏。何鴻卿爵士還沈浸在與該領域相關的出版物中,並通過研究西方和中國考古遺址中的玉器和青銅器藏品,拓寬了自己的鑒賞力和知識面。


SACA學會曾發文關於東方陶瓷學會兩位重要藏家:


他還熱衷於收藏中國元代(1272-1368 年)的青花瓷器、青銅器和明代(1368-1644 年)的傢具。他的玉器收藏是目前世界上最重要的收藏之一,跨越了這種材料的整個歷史。大部分玉器陳列在大英博物館的塞爾溫和埃莉-艾利恩展廳(Selwyn and Ellie Alleyne Gallery)。


Pair of dragon pendants China; Warring States period (475–221 BC) Jade; 7.6 x 12.4 cm, 7.8 x 11.8 cm Hotung Collection


在英國,何鴻卿爵士的其他興趣,如中東政治,也得到了認可。他曾擔任倫敦大學東方與非洲研究學院(SOAS)理事機構成員。在 SOAS,他還贊助了何鴻卿爵士中東法律、人權與和平建設計劃,尤其是 Iain Scobbie 教授,是該計劃出版方面的領軍人物。


近年來,何鴻卿爵士在倫敦通過私人捐款和他的何鴻卿爵士慈善基金,對支持醫學、人權和環境方面的研究越來越感興趣。他對倫敦大學聖喬治醫院的貢獻對該機構至關重要。他資助了該大學的分子免疫學和艾滋病毒/艾滋病研究,何鴻卿爵士中心(Sir Joseph Hotung Centre)在醫院內提供肌肉骨骼治療、研究和教育設施。在何鴻卿爵士的資助下,朱利安-馬(Julian Ma)教授和他的團隊即將啓動一項開創性的植物抗體產品的臨床試驗,以防止艾滋病病毒從孕婦傳播給胎兒。2021 年 9 月,何鴻卿爵士被倫敦大學聖喬治學院授予榮譽科學博士(醫學)學位,以表彰他的資助對該校研究工作的影響。何鴻卿爵士認識到全球在獲取現代藥物方面存在的不公平現象,並深知要長期解決這些問題,就必須徹底改變制藥業。


最近,通過何鴻卿爵士慈善基金(Sir Joseph Hotung Charitable Settlement),何鴻卿爵士為莫菲爾德眼科醫院(Moorfields Eye Hospital)的濕性黃斑變性研究捐贈了資金。此外,還向慈善機構 "國際動植物協會"(Fauna and Flora International)提供資金,支持採取切實可行的措施應對氣候變化的影響。


關於他的收藏,何鴻卿爵士曾謙虛地說:"我只是買我喜歡的東西"。  但是,這些藏品的卓越性和廣泛性證明瞭何鴻卿爵士的判斷力和品位。他對許多慈善事業的慷慨捐助將為他漫長的一生留下更多合適而永恆的遺產。


卡羅爾-邁克爾遜是大英博物館亞洲部的館長。


大英博物館 何鴻卿捐贈 玉器部分:



大英博物館 何鴻卿捐贈 磁器部分:



The ancients saw jade as embodying all the virtues of a perfect gentleman, the junzi. As many people noted, Sir Joseph—the philanthropist, collector (particularly of Chinese jade), and businessman—was a gentleman in the true sense of the word and a model of civic-minded humanitarianism. He was also someone of whom it truly could be said that he left the world a better place for having lived in it. However, his name is not generally well known on the world stage because of his innate modesty and desire to maintain a low profile.


Sir Joseph, the grandson of Sir Robert Hotung, was born in Shanghai in 1930 and was educated in China, first in Shanghai and then at St Louis College, in Tianjin (1948–49). He spent many of the war years in Shanghai, and for Sir Joseph, as for many others there, this period was one of deprivation and uncertainty. But he regarded those years as character building; he said his resilience and determination were nurtured during that time. He subsequently spent a year at university in Hong Kong but then decided to go to the United States to take a degree in economics at Catholic University in Washington, DC, where he graduated cum laude. Having married in the States, he worked as a security analyst for the Marine Midland Bank for a number of years. The deaths of his father and grandfather within a little more than a year brought Sir Joseph back to Hong Kong. In the 1960s, he began his own business and was primarily involved in the development of commercial properties.  



Sir Joseph Hotung with Queen Elizabeth, 1992


The next phase of Sir Joseph’s life was centred on Hong Kong, where he played a very active role. He was involved in real-estate development, building on the legacies of his grandfather and father. He served as a director of HSBC Holdings, was on the board of The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, and was a director of the Hong Kong Electric Holdings as well as the China and Eastern Investment Company. It was during this stage of his life that his love of the arts really came to the fore, and he became the first chairman of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council. At this time, he also became a serious collector of the arts, with a particular interest in Chinese jade. In 2006, Sir Joseph donated one hundred million Hong Kong dollars, a sum matched by the government for the establishment of the Hong Kong Academy for Gifted Education. He also funded a jade gallery in the Shanghai Museum. He served as a member of the Judicial Services Commission and the Inland Revenue Board of Review. And he was a founding member of the Business School of the University of Hong Kong. 


During Sir Joseph’s time in Hong Kong, he increasingly invested in the United States and amassed an impressive portfolio of commercial properties. He made frequent visits to the States, and his enthusiasm and knowledge of the arts led to invitations to serve on the boards of various museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Asia Society, in New York, and the visiting committee of the Freer Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. His business acumen and his knowledge of the arts was a rare and much valued combination. 

 


CongChina; Liangzhu culture (3300–2200 BC)Jade; height 49.5 cmHotung Collection


BrushpotChina; 18th centuryJade; diameter 19 cmHotung Collection


The last phase of Sir Joseph’s life was centred on London, where the British Museum became the main focus of his support of the arts. His association with the British Museum began when Sir Joseph suggested improving the lighting in the Oriental Gallery, where he enjoyed viewing the jade collection during his trips to London. The Keeper of the department, now Professor Dame Jessica Rawson, convinced him that digging holes into the walls to run new cabling for the lighting would mean that the whole gallery would need to be refurbished. Sir Joseph, needing little persuasion, agreed to subsidize the funding. The gallery was opened by Her Majesty The Queen to great acclaim in 1992 and deservedly received a great amount of praise for both its new layout and the new display of the collection. This was also an important landmark for the British Museum as Sir Joseph’s pioneering gesture inspired other patrons to follow suit. Astonishingly, 25 years later, when the gallery again needed refurbishment, he was approached and willingly paid for the entire renovation once more. This newly designed gallery, the Sir Joseph Hotung Gallery of China and South Asia, was also opened by Her Majesty The Queen, in 2017.  


In addition, Sir Joseph was a major donor to the British Museum’s Great Court in 2000 and a supporter of the department of the Middle East, an area of the world in which he had an interest, in its ancient history, art, and contemporary politics. He was described as a ‘white knight’ for having been instrumental in subsequently financing the rehousing within the British Museum of the stellar collection of Chinese ceramics belonging to Sir Percival David in 2009. Sir Joseph recognized that art is the international language of education and that it provides many members of the general public with their only opportunity to learn about the culture and history of other societies. Sir Joseph became a trustee of the British Museum in 1994 and was a trustee emeritus from 2004. 


For his contribution and participation in many educational and governmental organizations and his numerous charitable activities, Sir Joseph was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 1993. In 1996, he received the Arts Patronage Award from the Montblanc Cultural Foundation.  


Sir Joseph’s initial collecting interests lay in European paintings and Dutch Old Masters, but in the late 1970s he bought on impulse a pair of Qing-dynasty (1644–1911) white jade bowls from a San Francisco gallery. This first purchase led to a curiosity about Qing-period jade which, as with many other collectors, later developed into an interest in the more abstract forms of archaic jades. The core of his jade collection was formed by pieces from the 1979 sale at Sotheby’s, New York, of the McKim collection, which had originally come from C. T. Loo; its dispersal was considered the best opportunity since the Second World War to amass a substantial collection of archaic jades. Through the dealer Robert Ellsworth, he acquired pieces from the Abel William Bahr collection formed in the 1920s, and in 1983 he purchased a number of important pieces from the Richard C. Bull collection. At the time, this was considered to be a final opportunity to acquire archaic jades of superlative quality and rarity. His collection was further enriched by examples from the Cunliffe and Eumorfopoulos collections and by purchases in Hong Kong. Sir Joseph also immersed himself in publications related to the field and broadened his connoisseurship and knowledge by studying jade and bronze collections in the West and at archaeological sites in China. He also became an avid collector of Chinese Yuan-dynasty (1272–1368) blue-and-white porcelain, bronzes, and Ming-period (1368–1644) furniture. His collection of jade, now one of the most important in the world, spans the entire history of this material. The majority of the jades are on display in the Selwyn and Ellie Alleyne Gallery at the British Museum.  



Pair of dragon pendantsChina; Warring States period (475–221 BC)Jade; 7.6 x 12.4 cm, 7.8 x 11.8 cmHotung Collection


In the United Kingdom, Sir Joseph’s other interests, such as that of politics in the Middle East, were recognized. He served as a member of the governing body of the School of Oriental and African studies (SOAS), University of London. At SOAS, he also sponsored the Sir Joseph Hotung Programme for Law, Human Rights and Peace Building in the Middle East, where the Professor Iain Scobbie, in particular, was a leading light in publishing on this subject. 


In more recent years in London, Sir Joseph, through private donations and through his Sir Joseph Hotung Charitable Settlement, became increasingly interested in supporting research on medical issues, human rights, and the environment. His contribution to St George’s Hospital, University of London, was pivotal for that institution. He funded research on molecular immunology and HIV/AIDS at the university, and the Sir Joseph Hotung Centre provides a facility for musculoskeletal treatment, research, and education on the hospital site. Thanks to Sir Joseph’s funding, Professor Julian Ma and his team are close to initiating clinical trials for a groundbreaking plant-based antibody product to prevent the spread of HIV from pregnant mothers to their unborn children. Sir Joseph was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science (Medicine) by St George’s, University of London, in September 2021 in recognition of the impact that his funding has had on research at the university. Sir Joseph recognized the global inequities in access to modern medicines and knew that the long-term resolution of these problems could not be achieved without revolutionizing pharmaceutical manufacturing. 


More recently, through the Sir Joseph Hotung Charitable Settlement, money has been donated for research into wet macular degeneration at Moorfields Eye Hospital. Funding has also been provided to the charity Fauna and Flora International, supporting practical measures to counter the effects of climate change. 

The field of human rights was a cause dear to Sir Joseph’s heart. He endowed the Sir Joseph Hotung Auditorium at Mansfield College, Oxford University, home of the world-leading Bonavero Institute of Human Rights. In addition, he funded a new internship programme in support of Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs. 


With regard to his collections, Sir Joseph said with characteristic modesty, ‘I just bought things if I liked them’. But the excellence and range of the collection testify to Sir Joseph’s judgement and taste. His great generosity to so many charitable causes will further furnish a fitting and enduring legacy to his long life. 

Carol Michaelson is Curator at the Department of Asia, The British Museum.


This article first featured in our March/ April 2022 orientation.


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