Rare Chinese Woodblock Prints on Display at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

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KANSAS CITY, MO.- Visitors to the Chinese painting galleries at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art will see rarely viewed 17th-century Chinese woodblock prints that are the world’s earliest true color prints. Cultivating Nature: Printmaking for Painting in 17th Century China, which runs through Feb. 6, features two albums made from color woodblock prints using a technique that involved multiple woodblock printing in multiple steps. The albums were created to serve as manuals, giving instruction in how to create Chinese paintings using brush and ink. The pages in the albums are superb works of art in their own right. Ling-en Lu, assistant curator of Chinese art and curator of the exhibition, first researched the prints and explored the artistic achievement for a paper to the 2007 Southern Graphics Council Conference