East Asian Scroll Paintings Project

The Digital Scrolling Paintings Project was initiated in the Department of Art History to create a resource for teaching about Chinese paintings at the University of Chicago. Handscroll paintings mounted as horizontal scrolls and viewed by unrolling section by section comprise one of the major formats for traditional East Asian painting, first produced more than fifteen hundred years ago. Surviving examples preserved in museum collections are fragile and seldom exhibited in order to protect them from damage from handling and exposure to light. The public website and newly developed software allow interactive engagement with East Asian scrolls in ways that allow close examination and better approximate the experience of viewing scrolls in traditional fashion.