The graphic arts emphasize design, be it in the arts of drawing, painting, engraving, etching, or other print media, from the techniques of producing a single image to the composition of the page, the album, or the book. Volume 51 of Ars Orientalis focuses on how interlocking practices of making, collecting, compiling, and publishing graphic arts across Asia and between regions in Asia and Europe encouraged the replication, as well as the subtle transformation, of forms, opening up new possibilities for interpretation. The essays specifically attend to the steady replication of readily identifiable forms—whether portraits, general types of people, flora or fauna, ornament, books or other objects, or even the materials of making themselves, like paper—along with their production in artist workshops, libraries, and publishing houses, and their collection in albums, books, or other compendia. In short, the articles engage with the creation and reception of forms and how they wander.

The Graphic Arts

Digital Initiatives

Digital Initiatives in volume 51 explores digitization and virtual reconstructions as examined in the following reviews of two web-based projects. Virtual Angkor both recreates the medieval Southeast Asian city and situates it within rich, multisensory resources crafted primarily for classroom use. The British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme and the virtual Reading Room of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library bring together disparate global collections through digital reproductions and robust tools geared towards researchers and specialists.

Digital Initiatives is a column that explores digital tools, research resources, publications, and learning opportunities in art history and related fields, with a special focus on topics relevant to Ars Orientalis readers.



Massumeh Farhad


Qianshen Bai
Kevin Carr
Christiane Gruber
Carol Huh
Simon Rettig
Haicheng Wang


Sana Mirza


Melanie B. D. Klein


Scribe Inc.
University of Michigan Publishing


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Image credits: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives; Freer Gallery of Art; Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin; Private collection; Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; Bibliothèque Nationale de France; Houghton Library, Harvard University; Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives; University of Leeds Library; Annu Palakunnathu Matthew and sepiaEYE; New York; British Library; and Virtual Angkor