“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. With June Li, she co-curated Gardens, Art and Commerce in Chinese Woodblock Prints, an exhibition of Chinese woodblock prints for The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in 2016, and cowrote the accompanying fully-illustrated catalog. She has published articles on seventeenth-century catalogues of letter paper designs; the curated biography of publisher, Hu Zhengyan; and the history of paper decoration for a volume on Chinese epistolary culture. Essays on the distinctive formal language of letter papers and its use in illustrated literature and on performative aspects of Chinese woodblock-printed playing cards for drinking games will appear in two forthcoming conference volumes.
PhD, Stanford University