This display celebrates the recent conservation of two monumental rubbings from the Buddhist caves of Longmen in central China. They were shown for the first time at the museum’s opening in 1916 and have not been on display for almost a century. Also on display are rubbings relating to the Wu Family Shrines of the Eastern Han dynasty (AD 25–220) in Shandong Province in eastern China.The exhibit explores the tradition of making and mounting ink rubbings from stone reliefs, practiced in China at least since the 500s. A rubbing is taken directly from the stone’s carved surface. Before high-resolution color photography was available, life-size rubbings taken from ancient sites and cultural relics in China played an important role as primary source and study material.
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