Pieces of China is an online series using objects to tell the story of China.
Discover the secret jokes hidden in Along the River During the Qingming Festival, the most celebrated painting in Chinese history, with scholar Alfreda Murck.
Along the River During the Qingming Festival (清明上河圖) is a panoramic Song dynasty hand scroll that captures the daily life of people in the Song capital of Bianjing汴京, today’s Kaifeng 开封 in Henan 河南. According to scholar Alfreda Murck, the scroll is filled with hidden stories. The detailed scroll shows rich merchants, poor peasants, and everything between. Journey along the river with Murck and see Song society come to life.
Alfreda Murck is a historian of Chinese visual culture. Her Columbia University course, The History of China in 27 Objects, was the inspiration for this series. In China for more than 15 years, she worked at the Palace Museum and taught at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. She is the author of Poetry and Painting in Song China: The Subtle Art of Dissent.