Our collection of Chinese propaganda posters covers a range of genres, from nian hua and revolutionary romanticism, to photographic portraits.
About the collection
Our collection numbers 89 individual items dating from 1950 to 1982, with the majority published in the mid-1960s. It includes:
- Revolutionary nian hua (‘New Year prints’)
- Posters related to the Mao cult, Lei Feng and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA)
- Satirical caricatures of the ‘Gang of Four’
- Posters of ‘chubby babies’ and young children.
The collection is particularly strong in documentary and feature film posters.
What is available online?
The collection is not available on our online catalogue yet, but you can consult a list of our Chinese posters with their shelfmarks.
Our Asian and African studies blog has illustrated articles on Chinese posters.
What is available in our Reading Rooms?
The posters can be viewed in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room.
Special care needs to be taken when handling the posters due to their size.
What is available in other organisations?
Notable collections can be found at:
- Westminster University
- the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam.
The website chineseposters.net features more than 5,000 items coming from both public and private collections.
- Andrews, Julia F., Painters and Politics in the People’s Republic of China 1949-1979 (University of California Press, 1994)
- Chinese Propaganda Posters at the British Library (Visual Resources, 2020)
- Chiu, Melissa and Shengtian Zheng, eds, Art and China’s Revolution (Asia Society and Yale University Press, 2008)
- Cushing, Lincoln and Tompkins, Ann, Chinese Posters: Art from the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (Chronicle Books, 2007)
- Galikowski, Maria, Art and Politics in China 1949-1984 (The Chinese University Press, 1998)
- Landsberger, Stefan, Chinese Propaganda Posters: From Revolution to Modernization (Pepin Press, 1995)
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