Education: Stanford University – Ph.D.
“Much of my recent research has focused on woodblock prints of the late Ming and early Qing period, although I am equally interested in painting of the period. I am drawn to objects whose functionality is explicit—although I think all art is functional in one way or another. My studies of letter paper design focused necessarily on catalogues of these images, but I was drawn to this subject in part because letters reveal how such objects were used and allow us to consider the relationship of letter content and stationery design and how the pre-printed imagery influenced the writer. Likewise, study of woodblock-printed playing cards for drinking games invite consideration of function, text-image relationships, use of material culture in social performance, and visual literacy.”
Suzanne Wright received her M. A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University. Prior to pursuing the doctorate, she was Assistant Curator of Far Eastern Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Dr. Wright’s area of specialization is the visual culture of late imperial China, particularly painting and prints. Her publications include “Luoxuan biangu jianpu and Shizhuzhai jianpu: Two Seventeenth-Century Catalogues of Letter Paper Designs,” in Artibus Asiae, and “Hu Zhengyan: Fashioning Biography,” in Ars Orientalis, a study of the life and publishing trajectory of a seventeenth-century printer/publisher. Essays on the distinctive formal language of letter papers and its use in illustrated literature and on the history of paper decoration are forthcoming in two conference volumes. She is currently working on a book manuscript on the epistolary culture of the late Ming and early Qing dynasties, an essay on woodblock-printed playing cards for drinking games, and is co-curating an exhibition of Ming and Qing prints organized around the theme of the garden for the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens for 2016.