On campus, scrolls are a portal to history
Updated: 2013-03-01 12:36
By Chen Weihua in Washington (China Daily)
Visitors to the gallery at George Mason University's School of Art near Washington may find the Chinese scrolls on display educational, but many probably don't know that all of the scrolls are the handiwork of masters since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
The artists who painted the scrolls - Qi Baishi, Zhang Daqiang, Xu Beihong and Emperor Qianlong - are well-known among China's populace, as Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet are among Westerners.
The scrolls, which capture landscapes and calligraphy, are part of the personal collection of Chi Wang, president of the US-China Policy Foundation and former head of the Chinese section at the Library of Congress in Washington.
An avid collector of Chinese art for more than half a century, Wang said he was happy that a university such as George Mason would show part of his collection. It began on Monday and runs through March 20.
Harold Linton, director of Mason's School of Art, said he was impressed by the artists' clear delight in what they were creating, the precision evident in the calligraphy and the beauty of the watercolors.
"It's all incredibly educational for the students," he said. "It clarifies and also explores the possibility for contemporary drawing and art based on culture and history."
Visitors look at a Chinese scroll at George Mason University's School of Art gallery. The exhibit showcases highly regarded Chinese paintings and calligraphy from the personal collection of Chi Wang, president of the US-China Policy Foundation. Sun Chenbei / China Daily