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To celebrate Vikings Live, we have replaced our Roman alphabet with the runic alphabet used by the Vikings, the Scandinavian ‘Younger Futhark’. The ‘Younger Futhark’ has only 16 letters, so we have used some of the runic letters more than once or combined two runes for one Roman letter.

For an excellent introduction to runes, we recommend Martin Findell’s book published by British Museum Press.

More information about how we have ‘runified’ this site


Clarissa Graefin
von Spee

Curator, China

Department: Asia


+44 (0)20 7323 8919

Clarissa von Spee is a curator in the Asia department, where her main responsibilities include Chinese calligraphy and paintings, prints and the Central Asian collection.

Clarissa studied East Asian Art History, Sinology, and European Art History in Heidelberg, Paris and Taipei. After two years of research in Shanghai she received her Ph.D. from Heidelberg University. Before she joined the British Museum in 2008, she was Assistant Professor for East Asian Art History at Heidelberg University.

Her research interests include traditional and modern Chinese paintings, issues of connoisseurship, and material culture in twentieth-century China.

Previous projects

  • Modern Chinese ink paintings, exhibition curator (2012)
  • The Printed Image in China from the 8th to the 21st centuries,
    exhibition curator (2010)


C. von Spee, Modern Chinese Ink Painting. A Century of new Directions, London: British Museum Press 2012

C. von Spee (ed.), The Printed Image in China from the 8th to the 21st Centuries, London: British Museum Press 2010.

C. von Spee, Der Perfekte Pinsel - Chinesische Malerei 1300-1900/The Perfect Brush - Chinese Painting 1300-1900, (Museum fuer Ostasiatische Kunst Köln) Köln: asmuth 2010.

C. von Spee, Wu Hufan - A Twentieth Century Art Connoisseur in Shanghai. Berlin: Reimer 2008.

C. von Spee, „Wu Dacheng at 58. Two Handscrolls with Bronze Rubbings from the Shanghai Museum," in Burglind Jungmann, Adele Schlombs & Melanie Trede (eds.), Shifting Paradigms in East Asian Visual Culture. A Festschrift in Honour of Lothar Ledderose, Berlin: Reimer 2012, 299-312.

C. von Spee, „Krieg und Kunst in China - Wu Hufans Feier der Atombombenexplosion von 1965,“ in: Cord Arendes/Jörg Peltzer (Hg.), Krieg -Vergleichende Perspektiven aus Kunst, Musik und Geschichte, Heidelberg: Universitätsverlag Winter 2007, 203-216.