WM PATRICK CRANLEY
Patrick Cranley is the president of Historic Shanghai (Shanghai Art Deco’s parent organization), which he co-founded in 1998 with Tina Kanagaratnam and Tess Johnston. A native of Baltimore, USA, he has been a student of Chinese affairs for more than thirty years, and has lived in China for two decades.
A frequent speaker on Shanghai history, architecture, society and business, Patrick has also written for dozens of newspapers and magazines worldwide,and has authored chapters in Insight Guide Shanghai, Still More Shanghai Walks, and Step by Step Shanghai. His collection of Shanghai Art Deco furniture was featured in Shanghai Style by celebrated author Lynn Pan. His historic and architectural tours of Shanghai are recommended by Condé Nast Traveler; Luxe Guide to Shanghai; Nota Bene; Departures magazine; and by a number of top-tier travel companies.
Patrick holds degrees from Brown University, the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Michigan, and the Ross School of Business and certificates from the University of Dijon and the Johns Hopkins University-Nanjing University Center for Chinese and American Studies. He is the managing director of PR agency AsiaMedia.
Tina Kanagaratnam says Shanghai Art Deco runs in her veins: growing up in Singapore, she was surrounded by Art Deco furniture created by a Shanghai craftsman. In 1998, Tina co-founded Historic Shanghai, to answer all the questions this cosmopolitan city raises about the people, places and ideas that created it. Many of those questions were Art Deco ones, and thus Shanghai Art Deco was born.
An award-winning writer and the former features editor at the Shanghai Daily, Tina wrote a regular column on Shanghai’s historic buildings for the paper. Her books include a walking tour guide to historic buildings and Insight Guides Shanghai. She was also the editor of Lynn Pan’s seminal Shanghai Style.
Tina holds a B.A. in International Relations from American University and a Master’s in International Affairs from Columbia University. When she’s not traipsing into old buildings, or obsessively collecting Shanghai Art Deco, she’s CEO of PR agency AsiaMedia.
You can often find Shannon Hasenfratz wandering through Shanghai’s French Concession with a camera (in denial about the fact that she doesn’t live there anymore). An Art History major at Wellesley College, she has been interested in Shanghai’s architecture for quite some time.
One of Shanghai Art Deco’s founding interns, Shannon is our resident artist . She designed our logo, brochures, holiday cards, and all the World Congress merchandise, including our bestselling “Shanghai Art Deco” umbrella, now on sale at Madame Mao’s Dowry in Shanghai. A bit of Shanghai Art Deco lore: Shannon also inspired the term “intrepid intern” (disclaimer: we do not advocate trespassing). Her philosophy is “take pictures first, ask permission later”, but it helps that her excellent Chinese allows her to negotiate her way into other people’s houses – you’ll see her excellent photographs on all our social media accounts. Shannon, with fellow founding intern Amandari, created our invaluable Art Deco building database. She also features in our World Congress movie.
Raised in the French Concession by Art Deco-obsessed parents, Amandari Kanagaratnam is no stranger to Shanghai’s unique history and architecture. A recent graduate of Georgetown University with a degree in Anthropology, she likes to remind people that there is more to history than just the buildings.
Amandari is Historic Shanghai and Shanghai Art Deco’s in-house tech support, cinematographer, and list-organizer. She created both websites, runs the YouTube channel, and films our videos, including the World Congress on Art Deco trailer. She, along with fellow founding intern Shannon, contribute to the Shanghai Art Deco Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts — wherever in the world they might be (they invented #DecoOnTheRoad). They also spent many grueling hours in the Shanghai summer heat tracking down and photographing Art Deco buildings (and sneaking into some as well…) for the Art Deco buildings database.
An avid traveler, Amandari has visited over 35 countries – including Shanghai Art Deco architect László Hudec’s birthplace of Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. She currently lives and works in New York City (America’s Shanghai). When not Art Deco-ing, she is probably in an airport somewhere.
Like his fellow intrepid interns, Gabriel Meredith grew up in Shanghai’s French Concession, where his Art Deco passion/obsession began – an interest that grew during his time as a student at Cranbrook, the famously modernist Michigan academy. A Chinese and Art History major at the University of Michigan, Gabriel is our house videographer, directing and editing the World Congress movie, as well as a series of Historic Shanghai videos on our YouTube channel. A man of many talents, Gabriel also makes Art Deco soap, which proved to be a popular item at the World Congress shop!
Gabriel recently represented the Detroit Area Art Deco Society (DAADS) to bid for Detroit to host the 15th World Congress on Art Deco in 2019.
Susan Blumberg-Kason spent her childhood in suburban Chicago dreaming of the neon street signs and double-decker buses of Hong Kong. As soon as she was old enough, she moved there to study. Her memoir, Good Chinese Wife (Sourcebooks, 2014), recounts her years in a Chinese family as a wife, daughter-in-law, and mother.
Tess Johnston is uniquely qualified to research and write on the Western presence in old China. She first came to Shanghai in 1981 to work at the American Consulate General and in 1996, after over thirty years in the diplomatic service, she retired and stayed on to research, write, and lecture. She and her co-author, Shanghai photographer Deke Erh (Erh Dongqiang), have published 25 books, including fifteen volumes on Western architecture and the expatriate experience in old China.
Tess is a native of Virginia and her academic back-ground includes a M.A. from the University of Virginia, where she subsequently taught. She has lived abroad for more than half a century, including seven in Germany (both east and west), and more than 40 in Asia, including 33 in Shanghai and seven in Vietnam (1967-74).
Thanks to her extensive library of old books and historical documents, Tess also serves as a consultant on matters pertaining to the Western presence in old Shanghai. She is also a valuable research resource for visiting scholars and former residents seeking to trace their Shanghai roots.
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