Paintings by Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, Vols. I and II. Taipei (Taiwan): Shih-Ling Studio, First Edition book, n.d. (1956, 1961). With inscription and signature, "May-ling Soong Chiang," on first page, Taipei, 1963. Folio, silk-covered paper wraps, spine stitched (could be cut to release all prints for framing), in gold cloth folder with bone clasps. Vol. I with 32 prints of paintings by Madame Chiang. Second volume came to us still in its mailing glassine envelope. Introductory sections in both English and Chinese, as are the titles of the works. Both retain paper title guards.
Chiang Kai-shek, Madame (May-ling Soong Chiang, 1898-2003). Selected Speeches, 1958-1959. Taipei (Taiwan): Office of the President, 1959. (Printed by Peter Pauper Press, New York). 8vo, w/ dj, gold-colored cloth, 187pp. Inscribed and signed "May-ling Soong Chiang / Taipei 1963." Comes with photograph of General and Madam Chiang Kai-shek taken by the man to whom the volume was inscribed.
Soong Mei-ling (May-ling) was born in Shanghai, China, fourth child of Methodist missionary Charlie Soong. One of her sisters later became Madame Sun Yat-sen. The girls attended private school for a time in Shanghai, then their father arranged for them to come to the United States to continue their education. She met Chiang Kai-shek in 1920, but her mother opposed the match. The General was more than a decade her senior, married and a Buddhist. When he proved he was divorced and promised to convert to Christianity, her mother finally relented. The marriage was childless, but would last 48 years.
Madame Chiang became involved in politics and humanitarian works, such as caring for orphans of Chinese soldiers (whom she called "warphans"). Educated in the US, she spoke perfect English, albeit with a Georgia accent, since she lived there for many years. She was often called upon as an intermediary between Chinese and Western culture. She took up Chinese painting late in life, in her 50s, and apparently proved adept at it. However, as her husband notes in the Foreward to her book of paintings, he was not informed enough to judge the quality of her paintings. After her husband's death, she came to the United States, returning to Taiwan at least once in an attempt to get involved in politics again, but in short order came back to America. She lived here until her death in 2003, at the age of 105.
One leather strap of bone fastener on Vol. I broken (but all still present).
Very minor damage to Vol. II where paper cover has torn and rubbed, exposing the folder. Near excellent otherwise.
Surface soil on dj of vol. of speeches, but generally very good.
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