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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Cursive Script
Date: Unknown
Medium: Hanging scroll: ink on paper
Dimensions: 56 3/4 x 18 3/8 in. (144.1 x 46.7 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Sheila Dai and Michael Messitt
Object Number: 2003.041.003
Label Text: Yu Youren, born in Shanxi, was a reformist educator and politician, and is considered one of the greatest modern masters of calligraphy, best known for his work in cursive and semi-cursive script. Among his proposed reforms was the standardization of cursive script so that it could more easily be learned. The later development of simplified characters in the People’s Republic of China drew upon Yu’s ideas.

The subject of this calligraphy is a literati poem concerning the beauty of a plum blossom set within a landscape of mountains and rivers. The text comments on the artist’s distanced friendship with a fellow literati scholar, and how the moss has begun to accumulate on the landscape in his absence. ("Debating Art: Chinese Intellectuals at the Crossroads," curated by Yuhua Ding, with assistance by 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.