Reading Chinese Landscape Paintings

Study Groups
Landscape After Rain, 1597-1658, by Xiang Shengmo (Chinese, 1597-1658). Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Ink on paper. The Avery Brundage Collection, B72D37. Photograph © Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

Reading Chinese Landscape Paintings

Melissa Abbe
May 11, 2019
10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Koret Education Center, Asian Art Museum
$30 Society members; $40 non-members (after museum admission)

Online registration for this study group is now closed. Please contact the SAA office if you have any questions. Thank you.

Museum goers know how satisfying it is to revisit a work of art and see more than we had previously. Possibly because of what we have read and seen in the interim, and certainly because we have now spent more time, we deepen our appreciation fo the artist's skill and understanding of the context and elevate our experience. Chinese paintings reward careful looking and informed analysis - close reading. In fact, the verb in Mandarin (du 读) is the same as in English (read). 

In this study group, we will read landscape paintings in the Asian Art Museum's collection from a variety of angles including the identities of artist and patron, historical and art historical contexts, and materials and formats. We will also spend time in the second floor galleries. 

Texts that will be used to frame the discussions during this study group are as follows. All are on the reserve shelf in the museum library. 

Asian Art Museum of San Francisco: Collection Highlights, 2018

Chinese Painting and Its Audiences, Craig Clunas, 2017

How to Read Chinese Paintings, Maxwell Hearn, 2008

Melissa Abbe is an independent art historian who has served as an Instructor of Record for Arts of Asia, Docent Instructor, SAA Advisor, and SAA Board Member. She has contributed to catalogues for permanent and visiting exhibitions, Later Chinese Jades: Ming Dynasty to Twentieth Century in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and Between the Thunder and the Rain: Chinese Paintings from the Opium War to the Cultural Revolution 1840 - 1979

Registration Policies

The Society for Asian Art's cancellation policy requires at least one week's advance written notice in order to receive a refund of registration fees. This excludes our Travel programs, which have separate cancellation policies, as well as any programs where a specific refund policy is stated on the event page. Your fees will be returned to you through a check in the mail. To cancel, please contact us.

For programs located within the Asian Art Museum, the museum entrance fee must be paid separately and is not included with your registration fee.

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