Title: Couplet in Five-Character Verse
Pair of hanging scrolls: ink on paper
Dimensions: Each: 45 1/8 × 11 inches (114.6 × 27.9 cm)
Gift of Kwong M Y Lum
Object Number: 2017.011 a,b
During the early twentieth century, Hu Shih was recognized as the Father of the Chinese Renaissance. He is known for his literary work, literary criticism, and political commentaries. This couplet is written in a style of seal script, inscribed and signed by Hu Shih. It was most likely written in Hu’s early period, and reads, “After you have read more than ten thousand volumes, your writings could compare favorably with the six classics.” Based on the seal located on the first scroll, this couplet could have been in the collection of Sheng Xuanhuai 盛宣懷, one of the most influential Chinese government officials and entrepreneurs in the last years of the Qing dynasty, responsible for much of China’s early industrialization and modern education. ("Debating Art: Chinese Intellectuals at the Crossroads," curated by Cornell PhD candidate Yu Hua Ding with assistance from Elizabeth Emrich and presented at the Johnson Museum February 2-July 8, 2018)
NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.