Before Beijing: A Rare View of China's Last Dynasty

In May of 1870, Thomas Child was hired by the Imperial Maritime Customs Service to be a gas engineer in Peking (Beijing). The 29-year-old Englishman left behind his wife and three children to become one of roughly 100 foreigners living in the late Qing dynasty's capital, taking his camera along with him. Over the course of the next 20 years, he took some 200 photographs, capturing the earliest comprehensive catalog of the customs, architecture, and people during China's last dynasty. On Thursday, an exhibition of his images will open at the Sidney Mishkin Gallery in New York, curated by Stacey Lambrow. In addition, descendants of the subjects of one of his most famous images, Bride and Bridegroom (1870s), will be in attendance.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Amanda Perobelli / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Glass Ceiling, Blue Grotto, Lava Glow

    A May Day rally in Istanbul, a SpaceX splashdown in Florida, an early cicada in Maryland, a diving competition in Tokyo, orienteering in Ukraine, and much more

  • Qi Lianmin / VCG via Getty

    Robots Are Everywhere

    Recent images of robotic technology from around the world

  • Fernando Vergara / AP

    Photos: Deadly Protests Across Colombia

    For several days now, people across the country have voiced their anger in large demonstrations.

  • Alexander Nemenov / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Desert Highway, Launch Symphony, Mermaid Show

    A life-sized Gundam statue in China, the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak in India, the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Portugal, a Lego New York City, and much more