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School Library Journal
Much accumulated wisdom resides in this weighty tome. Some comes from the 137 Chinese painters and calligraphers (often one and the same) who inscribed original philosophical poems, respectful dedications, and selected quotations onto their works-often referencing people from the distant past. More insights come from numerous contemporary scholars who contributed essays and catalog entries that help the reader understand the layered nuances of this art: whether panoramic landscape scrolls, intimate studies of people and the natural world, or various calligraphic styles. Reverend Fabian's San Francisco collection is one of the most important of its kind outside of China, and his introductory essay beautifully compares the "feeling" of Chinese brush lines to Western musical melodies. Little, who directs the Honolulu Academy of Arts, the site of this 2007 Fabian exhibition of over 200 works, integrates the pieces into larger artistic trends, such as conservative classicism during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911), the epigraphic movement, the innovative Shanghai school that developed around that international trading port, and 20th-century artists traveling abroad. Despite dramatic political upheavals, these resilient men-and three women-created remarkable homages, interpretations, and personal expressions of Chinese culture. Recommended for larger academic libraries.
—Anne Marie Lane
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