The Xiling Seal Society was founded in 1904 by four seal cutting masters in Hangzhou. Their principle is "preserving the works of the past masters, researching the technique in seal cutting and doing something about calligraphy and painting". The society is the oldest and the most influential academic institution engaged in studying ancient seal inscriptions in the world.
Located on the west of the Solitary Island, West Lake, the Xiling Seal Society has contributed much in promoting seal inscription and the art of Chinese calligraphy at home and abroad. It collects a lot of antique seals and master paintings, so it is enlisted as a state protected intangible cultural heritage.
Today the Xiling Seal Society has more than 300 permanent members from around the world. In every spring and autumn, the institute holds seminars for regular gathering, members' works exhibition and studying Chinese poems and inscriptions. As a medium in preserving and distributing the ancient culture of China, the society has published many books on antique seal, master calligraphies and paintings. There is a small workshop that the contemporary artists selling their works.
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