Home / Culture / Art

City of memories

By Xing Yi (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2016-09-14 05:00 Comments

City of memories

Old photos of Hangzhou. [Photo provided to China Daily by Shen Hong]

Born in Shanghai in an American missionary family in 1874, Fitch was the principal of Hangchow Christian College (Hangchow is the old English spelling of Hangzhou), from which Zhejiang University came.

Fitch was also an enthusiastic photographer and traveler. With his camera, Fitch snapped the West Lake, canals that runs through the city, and temples in the mountains nearby.

Many photos were later used as illustrations in Hangchow Itineraries, a guidebook written by Fitch in 1918, which was very popular among foreign visitors at the time. He returned to the United States in 1945 and died in California in 1954. After his wife died several years later, Fitch's photos were left to his grandson, Roy Sewall.

"I knew the collection was a treasure, but I had no idea what to do with it," writes Sewall in the preface to Memories of a Heavenly City. "So it went to a safe, dark, cool corner of my house and remained untouched for 35 years."

Most Popular