A total of 15 pieces of rare Chinese artwork have been discovered in a storage room at the University of Michigan. The pieces include images of Mao Zedong, a late Chinese leader, and Red Guards stamping on a Buddhist statue and burning books. They were made in the same way as Chinese New Year decorations are customarily made, with red paper.
The artwork was originally collected by a former professor and scholar, Michel Oksenberg, who donated it to the school when he left in 1991. Okensberg collected the pieces while conducting researching in Hong Kong during the 1970’s. The coordinator of the Center for Chinese Studies at the school, Carol Stepanchuk, found the artwork in one of the center’s storerooms.
Ena Schlorff, who was Schlorff’s personal secretary, said; “We were storing them for future consideration. It took the newer faculty … to realize the current importance of this collection.”
History professor, Wang Zheng said that the images were probably not commissioned by political leaders, but did show how the young artists responsible for creating the work depicted the ten year cultural revolution. It is estimated that each piece is worth about $150 to a collector.