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St. John’s University

  • Name:
    St. John’s University
  • Kind of Organisation:
    University / Higher Education Institute / Research Institute
  • Introduction:

    In the first half of the 20th century, St. John’s University in Shanghai was an important Protestant university under American leadership. During the 1940s, German emigrants also taught there, after British and American university lecturers were interned in the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Word Count: 48

  • Content:

    William Jones Boone opened the missionary Protestant Episcopal Church of America as first Bishop of China in Shanghai in 1845. Samuel Schereschewsky, the second Bishop of China, founded in 1879 the first college under the name St. John’s College in Shanghai, the name referring to an American preparatory school. In 1896, after some reorganisation, the college formed into three faculties, namely natural sciences, medicine and theology, and in 1905 received accreditation as a university from the USA. St. John’s University is today the East China University of Political Science and Law.

    On 8 December 1941, the Second World War reached the Pacific region with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Teachers and students in Japanese-occupied Shanghai were directly affected, with the Japanese interning some professors (first, the Americans and British) in camps in Shanghai. As a result of the internment, there was a shortage of teachers and German refugees were asked to help out. The Jewish journalist and art historian Lothar Brieger taught literature and art history. He published articles on art history in several newspapers and magazines, including Die Gelbe Post. Dr. Weinberg, who was woman, taught German, and Dr. Wiener taught national economy. Even such unlikely people as Klaus Mehnert, editor of the English-language National Socialist propaganda magazine XXTH Century, was awarded a lectureship in history and “political ideas” at St. John’s. These ambivalent strategies allowed the university to remain open during war, the only Protestant mission college to do so.

    The Chinese architect and engineer Q.L. Yang became dean at the School of Engineering at St. John’s in 1939. Yang was educated in the USA and was a well-respected expert, who participated in the design of some of the campus buildings. In 1942, during the war years, he asked Henry J. Huang (Huang Zuoshen) to organise a new department to teach architecture. Huang had studied at the Architectural Association (A.A.) in London and was the first Chinese student of Walter Gropius at Harvard, before returning to Shanghai in 1941. He studied the didactic and conceptual ideas of Gropius and the teachings of the Bauhaus.

    For the new architectural department Henry Huang searched for like-minded people, such as Richard Paulick, who became the only other professor besides Huang. Paulick taught from winter term 1943 until summer term 1949 in such different fields as interior design and urban planning. During the war years the Austrian architect Hans J. Hajek lectured on Western architectural history. After the war, Chinese students returned from their education in the USA and Germany. Students of Gropius and Breuer, such as Wang Dahong and Arthur Cheang, joined the faculty as part-time teachers, and urban planner Jin Jinchang returned from his studies at Darmstadt University.  

    After the end of the war in 1945, the city administration commissioned the architecture faculty at St. John’s University with the urban replanning of Greater Shanghai. This was the first opportunity after 100 years of colonial rule for a Chinese administration to plan the greater Shanghai area. Richard Paulick played a prominent role in the plan for “organic decentralisation” between 1945 and 1949.

    Word Count: 504

  • Known addresses in Metromod cities:

    St. Johns University, 188 Jessfield Road, Extra Settlement Road, Western Settlement Extension (now Wanhangdu Lu, Changning Qu) Shanghai

  • Signature Image:
    St. John’s University S.Y Hall with clock tower, photography (© Eduard Kögel 2004).
  • Media:
    Former administration building of St. John’s University, photography (© Eduard Kögel 2004).
    Mary Lamperton. St. John’s University Shanghai. New York, United Board of Christian Colleges in China, 1955. An overview of St. John’s University around 1950.
    Student exhibition put on by Richard Paulick’s architecture class, photography, 1947 (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).
    Richard Paulick, letterhead 1948, photography (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).
  • Bibliography (selected):

    Lamperton, Mary. St. John’s University Shanghai. New York, United Board of Christian Colleges in China, 1955.
    Hou, Li. "Design und Stadtplanung an der St. John’s-Universität.", Bauhaus Shanghai Stalinallee Ha-Neu. Der Lebensweg des Architekten Richard Paulick 1903–1979, edited by Flierl, Lukas Verlag, 2020, p. 146–157.
    "Michael Klaus Mehnert und die Zeitschrift The XXth Century." Exil Shanghai 1938–1947. Jüdisches Leben in der Emigration, edited by Armbruster,Georg, et al., Hentrich & Hentrich, 2000, p. 233–253.
    Kögel, Eduard. Zwei Poelzigschüler in der Emigration: Rudolf Hamburger und Richard Paulick zwischen Shanghai und Ost-Berlin (1930–1955), University of Weimar 2006, doi: https://doi.org/10.25643/bauhaus-universitaet.929. Accessed 3 March 2021.

    Word Count: 98

  • Author:
    Eduard Kögel
  • Date of Founding:
    1905
  • Date of Disbandment:
    1950
  • Participants (selection):

    Richard Paulick, Lothar Brieger, Klaus Mehnert

  • Metropolis:
    Shanghai
  • Entry in process:
    no
  • Eduard Kögel. "St. John’s University." METROMOD Archive, 2021, https://archive.metromod.net/viewer.p/69/2952/object/5145-11304822, last modified: 08-05-2021.
  • Hans Jacoby
    Artist

    Hans Jacoby fled in 1938 to the Netherlands, where he was interned by the Dutch government in Hook of Holland. He was able to leave the camp and arrived, together with his wife Emma Jacoby, in Shanghai in 1940 where he continued to work as an artist.

    Word Count: 45

    Photograph, Hans Jacoby, 1940, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
    Hans Jacoby, Chinese Theatre Masks, oil on canvas, 66,6 x 58 cm, Shanghai, 1941, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).Portrait of Willy Tonn, painting by Hans Jacoby, photography, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).Hans Jacoby, Portrait of Bao Bao, oil on canvas, 60.2 x 50 cm around 1940 [probably 1943 or later], Shanghai, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).Asia Seminar, programme, winter semester 1943/44, Hans Jacoby Collection, Box 1, Folder 5 (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).Asia Seminar, card of Hans Jacoby, winter semester 1943/44, Hans Jacoby Collection, Box 1, Folder 5 (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).Hans Jacoby, drawing of religious figure, Shanghai, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).Ernst Handl, Self Portrait, drawing, 15 September 1943, Shanghai, Hans Jacoby Collection (© Leo Baeck Institute, New York).
    Shanghai
    Richard Paulick
    ArchitectDesigner

    After studying with Hans Poelzig, Richard Paulick worked in Walter Gropius’s office and frequented the Bauhaus in Dessau before emigrating to Shanghai in 1933. After his return, he became an influential planner and architect in the GDR, from 1950 until his retirement

    Word Count: 41

    Richard Paulick on board ship, en route to exile, photography, 1933. (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Richard Paulick on a weekend boat trip around Shanghai, photography (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Richard Paulick sketches in the landscape, photography (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Richard Paulick (with a pipe) in his office. His brother Rudolf is standing in front of the plan cupboard, photography (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Ye Qianyu, cover print, The Second-class Rail Carriage, Modern Sketch, July 1935.
    Shanghai
    Modern Homes
    Architecture and Furniture Company

    The three firms The Modern Home, Modern Home and Modern Homes existed from 1931 until 1950. Run by the Paulick brothers together with the Jewish emigrant Luedecke, the firms provided work for many emigrants.

    Word Count: 32

    Rudolf Hamburger, interior decoration for The Modern Home, photography (© Hamburger family).
    Advertisement, The Modern Home, 1931.Modern Homes, letterhead, around the late 1940s (© private archive, courtesy of Natascha Paulick).Modern Homes, Tango Bar, interior, photography (© Architekturmuseum der TU Munich, Estate Richard Paulick).Modern Homes, interior, photography, around 1941, pauli-22-1002 (© Architekturmuseum der TU Munich, Estate Richard Paulick). The landscape painting was made by the Austrian artist Friedrich Schiff.
    Shanghai