In 1912 Dr. and Mrs. Albert M. Dunlap set sail for China. Albert to begin his medical practice as an otolaryngologist and Eva to begin the next phase of her painting life. They built a life together and raised six children. This article though features the five panel image Eva created on their voyage forty plus years later when they returned permanently to the United States.
Eva Wyman Dunlap created art all of her life. The years spent in China yielded hundreds of delightful watercolors of the cultural artifacts, people and places in and around Shanghai and Beijing.
Eva & Albert spent many happy as well as difficult years in China leaving for the last time in 1953. On that trip they stopped in Hong Kong for about six months to rest and prepare for the rest of the voyage. During that time Eva painted a five panel panorama of the city, water and landscape of Hong Kong.
The project was to create a facsimile which could be reproduced and given to the surviving children and grandchildren of Eva & Albert, over twenty copies were needed.
The original images are approximately 15 x 11 inches. Framing the original for display is problematic simply due to the size – the length before any mat border option would be 75 inches. Not an impossible size to make a frame for but one that requires that a suitable display area is always available. Having a small version for display made the project much more flexible for sharing with the extended family.
The format was chosen for appropriate display – an accordion fold book is an innovation originating in China – and size – this style of book is suitable in almost any size depending on the materials used. A book which opens in accordion fashion is perfect for a panorama in panels.
The original paintings were scanned, resized and printed with an archival injet printer using light fast inks and cotton rag paper. The resulting prints were trimmed and hand tipped into the books which were custom made for the project.
The final books were given as gifts to the family. A few are still available for sale at Chandler Designs.
Dorothea Mordan, the author of this article, is the creator of this book of Eva’s work. Eva and Albert Dunlap are her grandparents.