ANCIENT BUDDHIST CARVING EXCAVATED IN THE SWAT VALLEY IN PAKISTAN

I do not want to disclose the exact location  — we do not need any more obliterations of Buddhist sculptures — but carvings dating back some 1700 years have been found in the remains of an old shrine. The fragment shows  what is known as The Great Departure  — the historical Prince Siddhartha leaving his palace in Kapilavastu venturing outside the castle confines to experience suffering and eventually attain enlightenment  to become Gautama Buddha.

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Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha

Swann Galleries’ Early Printed Books Auction

Central Asian travel books exceeded expectations at Swann Galleries’ Spring Early Printed Books Auction.

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Sir Marc Aurel Stein, Serindia: Detailed Report of Explorations in Central Asia and Westernmost China, first edition, Oxford, 1921. Sold April 12, 2016 for $18,750. (Pre-sale estimate $6,000 to $9,000).

New interest in the adventures of the Silk Road during the late 19th and early 20th century sparked these extraordinary prices.  I am aware that Sir Aurel Stein also removed a collection of books and manuscripts from the famous Dunhuang caves……..  And some of us are still waiting to go…..especially to the Taklamakan desert — if only briefly!

Cheers,

Elisabeth and Natasha

NUNS LEARN TO PRESERVE AND PROTECT THE TREASURES IN THEIR MONASTERY

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Buddhist Art News shared the attached article about a group of  seventeen nuns who have learned   in Bodhgaya, Bihar State,  India,  from Ann Shaftel, an expert in sacred art preservation,  how to document and preserve  thangkas, statues,  costumes and texts.
P.S. Bodhgaya is a place for pilgrimage since this is the place where Gautama Buddha is said to have attained enlightenment under a Bodhi tree.
Please read this encouraging story.
Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha

HARN MUSEUM OF ART IN FLORIDA

HARN MUSEUM OF ART

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
Gainesville
The Harn Museum  recently completed conservation of seven paintings by Bengali artist Jamini Roy.  The Museum contains 45 paintings by the artist (1887-1972), the largest holdings by this artist outside India.
The Harn focuses on African and Asian art and contemporary and modern art and photography.  Asian art includes more than 2000 works  from China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia.
Enjoy!
Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha

RINGLING’S ASIAN ART CENTER

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The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art’s new Center For Asian Art  in the Dr. Helga Wall-Apelt Gallery of Asian Art has received generous gifts to erect a building designed by Machado Silvetti that will include a new pavilion and major renovations to the existing spaces. The Asian Art Center will display pieces form it permanent collection as well as gifts from the Kroger family and loans from the Arthur M. Sackler Foundation. Scheduled to open soon in 2016!
Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha

CAVE TEMPLES OF DUNHUANG: BUDDHIST ART ON CHINA’S SILK ROAD

 

CAVE TEMPLES OF DUNHUANG: BUDDHIST ART ON CHINA’S SILK ROAD

https://buddhistartnews.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/cave-temples-of-dunhuang-buddhist-art-on-chinas-silk-road/

GETTY CENTER, LOS ANGELES

May 7 – September 4, 2016

www.getty.edu

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If you cannot make it to Dunhuang to see the spectacular Mogao caves on the ancient Silk Road dating from the 4th to 14th centuries – then you should go to the Getty and see rare treasures found in the famous caves together with full size replicas of three of the caves. This is a cooperation between  the Getty Conservation Institute and  Dunhuang Academy together with several other American and Chinese cultural institutions. The Mogao caves are important because they document  the earliest evidence we have of how Buddhism travelled with monks, scholars and merchants to China and beyond.

Cheers,

Elisabeth and Natasha

PEARLS ON A STRING

PEARLS ON A STRING: ARTISTS, PATRONS & POETS AT THE GREAT ISLAMIC COURTS

February 26 – May 8, 2016
 
ASIAN ART MUSEUM 
 
San Francisco  www.asianart.org
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I have  always been interested in who and what fueled the high artistic achievements  of the Islamic world from the 16th through the 18th century  –  a time when the global movement of people and their ideas not only tolerated but furthered a cosmopolitan society that was very much inclusive.  Some sixty-four art works, including textiles, paintings, manuscripts, sculpture, metalwork and jeweled objects show us the way through 16th century Mughal India, 17th century Safavid Iran and 18th century Ottoman Turkey.
We follow the lead of a writer,  an artist and a patron.
The writer and historian  Abu’l Fazl ibn Mubarak (1551-1602) was employed at the court of Akbar the Great (ruled 1556-1602) as a writer, an advisor, scholar and chief secretary. His interest in religious sciences and philosophy resonated with the liberal sentiments of Akbar who surrounded himself with Jews, Hindus, Muslims and Christians.
 I have always been partial to Akbar the Great ever since visiting Fatehpur Sikri in India and visiting his grandfather’s (Emperor Babur the Tiger) tomb and garden in Kabul. And below my favorite portrait of Akbar.
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The artist and painter Muhammad Zaman ibn Haji Yusuf (active 1670-1700) at the Safavid court of Shah Sulayman (reigned 1666-1694) worked  in the cosmopolitan city of Isfahan. He is credited with dramatically changing the style of Persian painting by incorporating European  linear perspective and  contrasting light and shadow.
The great sponsor of the arts Sultan Mahmud I (ruled 1730-1754), the ruler of the Ottoman Empire brought merchants, artisans and the forerunners of engineers to cosmopolitan Istanbul to become personally involved with artistic commissions in the field of architecture, art and engineered and jeweled objects.
Enjoy this journey through once cosmopolitan countries – no longer so accessible to us.
Cheers,
Elisabeth and Natasha