Handling East Asian Scrolls

Pictorial art and calligraphy mounted as scrolls demand careful handling and viewing practices. The mounted scroll is a complex laminate structure engineered to support and protect the artwork. With their unique components of silk and paper, metal and wood, scrolls are meant to be unrolled, viewed for short periods of time, rolled, then wrapped and stored in a protective box.

Video: Handling East Asian Hanging Scrolls

Paintings, calligraphy, prints, or rubbings are mounted with decorative paper or silk borders and then lined with layers of paper. The wooden hanging bar at the top with added hanging and tying cords and roller bar with decorative ends at the bottom are the components of the hanging scroll. This video demonstrates the careful handling required to view a hanging scroll.

Video: Handling East Asian Handscrolls

The handscroll, a laminate structure like the hanging scroll, is unrolled to a comfortable arm span and viewed horizontally on a clean, flat surface. The mounting is attached to a wood roller bar to the left and a protective flap made of silk and paper to the right, which contains the frontispiece. A tying cord, sometimes with a clasp attached, is affixed to the flap. This video demonstrates the careful handling required to view a handscroll.

Scroll Handling Guidelines

East Asian Scroll Handling Guidelines PDF