Painting with Words: Gentlemen Artists of the Ming Dynasty

Poetry, painting, and calligraphy: Known as the “Three Perfections,” these genres were regarded as the ultimate expressions of Chinese literati culture during the Ming dynasty (1369–1644). Members of the Wu School, centered on the affluent city of Suzhou and nearby towns, earned admiration for their interpretations of these art forms. Painting with Words celebrates Wu School works, examining the relationships among their imagery, brushstrokes, and, especially, words. Selections are drawn from the Freer|Sackler—home to one of the best Wu School collections in the country—as well as other museums and collections.

We are grateful for support of this exhibition from the Elizabeth Candida Ridout Endowment, the Ellen Bayard Weedon Foundation, and Susan and Michael Pillsbury.

Other generous supporters include Bruce and Yoke San Reynolds, Mr. and Mrs. Shao F. and Cheryl L. Wang, Nancy and John Mannes, Ruth Kurzbauer in memory of her husband Dr. Marcus Jacobson, Cecilia Chin, Robert Stockho, Christine Freidel and Doug Varley, and Kathryn L. Stevens.

All translations by Stephen D. Allee.

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