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Cultural Resources

Handscroll by Zhang Ruitu
A Commentary on the Classics of Histories and Poetry (detail) by Zhang Ruitu (1570–1641), handscroll, ink on satin, 11 1/8 x 272 3/8 inches; gift to the Johnson Museum of Art from Cornell Professor Ray Wu and Christina C. Wu

Cultural artifacts—books and manuscripts; works of art in all media; recordings of music, dance, and spoken words—are an important resource for teaching and learning.

Cornell University has two of the top resources in the United States for the study of Chinese culture, in both historic and contemporary times. 

Cornell University Library

Charles W. Wason Collection on East Asia at Cornell University Library, with 700,000 volumes, stands as one of the most important resources for the study of China and greater East Asia.

Cornell University Library has worked in collaboration with Chinese libraries for decades. The library partners share access to resources, expertise, and innovations, from joint portals to digital collections, such as Cornell-Tsinghua Joint Digital Library Resources.

Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art

Cornell University's Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, opened in 1973, was designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei. The museum is a focal point for the visual arts and art education for the campus and the regional community. Pei also designed the Suzhou Museum in China, a highly-regarded regional museum with a number of significant Chinese cultural relics. The new museum building, inaugurated in 2006, is located in Pei's ancestral home in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, on the grounds of the national historic landmark, Zhong Wang Fu palace complex.

The Johnson Museum of Art is renowned for its Chinese collection that ranges from the Neolithic period to present day. Highlights among the 2,500 art works are a large collection of ceramics, bronzes, jades, lacquer, and Buddhist sculpture; paintings and calligraphy from the Yuan through Qing dynasties; and works by some of China’s most important contemporary artists.