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Woodblock print of front of museum building, on cover of 'Building the New Ashmolean', by Ashmolean Museum.

Building the New Ashmolean

By (author) Weimin He
Illustrated by Weimin He


  • An unusual artist-in-residence project by artist, scholar and man of letters, Weimin He
  • Offers a stunning catalogue of ink sketches of scenes of work and woodblock prints and portraits, all inspired by the building of the new Ashmolean Museum
Full Description

Weimin He’s 324 ink drawings, pen sketches and woodblock prints comprise an intimate record of the progress of construction in the newly designed Ashmolean Museum that opened late last year. An unusual approach to documentation in the age of digital photography, the catalogue provides a delightful experience for readers who will never set foot in the Ashmolean.

Weimin has drawn workers lifting roof beams, welding metal rods and pouring cement into the mixer. He gives us behind-the-scenes portraits of museum personnel, making each individual come alive, for example, an objects conservator at her work and a researcher in the prints room at his. An artist-in-residence at the museum and an art scholar, Weimin employed Chinese drawing and woodblock printmaking methods. His portraits were drawn on pi, xuan papers or album leaves, with Chinese brushes and inks that have been used for over a millennium. Seven of the prints and the catalogue were presented to Queen Elizabeth for the museum’s opening.

About the Author

Born in China's northeastern province of Heilongjiang, Weimin studied printmaking at the Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts in Shenyang before establishing himself as a professional printmaker in Harbin. His work has been exhibited in Hamburg, Germany, in Belfast, Glasgow and at Sotheby's Institute of Art in London. He was a Christensen Fellow at the Ashmolean for four years.

Ashmolean Museum
1st Nov 2009
Paperback / softback
USA & Canada
9.65 in x 11.42 in
160 Pages
325 b&w
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