First Impressions: Chinese Religious Woodcuts and Cultural Transformation


Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowships for Recently Tenured Scholars


Art History


For residence at the Huntington Library during academic year 2017-2018


This project studies the imagery of Buddhist and Daoist woodcuts produced in the first “Golden Age” of Chinese printmaking, from 850 to 1450. It will be the first English-language treatment of religious woodcuts by an art historian. The study takes a cross-cultural perspective, drawing on religious woodcuts from the Song, Yuan, and Ming China, and from the northern kingdoms ruled by non-Chinese people—the Liao, the Tangut Xi Xia, and the Jin—and compares them to pertinent Korean, Japanese, and Islamic images. It sets a new interdisciplinary model of inquiry in humanities studies by responding critically to the current discourses on material and visual culture, the history of the book and print culture, and global history.