The collection of Asian art at the Metropolitan Museum—more than 35,000 objects, ranging in date from the third millennium B.C. to the twenty-first century—is one of the largest and is the most comprehensive in the West. Each of the many civilizations of Asia is represented by outstanding works, providing an unrivaled experience of the artistic traditions of nearly half the world.
Posted: Friday, September 11, 2015
A new publication in the highly popular How to Read series, How to Read Chinese Ceramics, by Denise Patry Leidy, Brooke Russell Astor Curator of Chinese Art and an expert in the field, is perfect for students who want to learn more about this fascinating, centuries-old tradition and is just in time for the start of the school year. This book introduces readers to the principal types of Chinese ceramics and covers the progression and development of the medium, using examples from the Met's comprehensive collection.
Posted: Thursday, September 10, 2015
The Royal Hunt: Courtly Pursuits in Indian Art, on view through December 8, brings together vibrant Mughal and Rajasthani paintings that depict royalty, nobility, and courtiers engaged in the dynamic yet dangerous sport of hunting. In addition to artworks from the Departments of Asian Art and Islamic Art, a group of weapons and hunting accessories loaned by the Department of Arms and Armor are also on display, which provide not only a greater understanding of the royal hunt, but also a rare opportunity to see these objects in person.
Posted: Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Portraits can reveal so much about the character of the person depicted, beyond the obvious physical traits. What can you tell about the gentleman in this painting?
Posted: Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Posted: Friday, June 26, 2015
The Metropolitan Museum's collection of Chinese painting and calligraphy, one of the finest outside China in both quality and scope, is largely built upon the acquisition of a few private collections. The nearly three hundred works that entered the Museum from the collections of C. C. Wang (1907–2003), the Edward Elliot Family, and John M. Crawford, Jr. (1913–88) in the 1970s and 1980s include several of the most important extant Song (960–1279) and Yuan (1271–1368) pieces today. Spanning the period from the eleventh to the nineteenth century, these works form the core of the department's painting and calligraphy collection from dynastic China.
Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2015
In Kano Sansetsu's Old Plum—currently on view in the exhibition Discovering Japanese Art: American Collectors and the Met—a wizened plum tree stirs in the cold of early spring. At lower right, its buckled trunk rises near pillar-like rocks and a thicket of bamboo grass (sasayabu) before stretching to the left, heaving and gyrating its way across a sixteen-foot expanse of gold foil. Green lichen clings to its knotty trunk and icy white blossoms open on its fragile twigs, frozen stiff against the gold.
Posted: Friday, June 5, 2015
During the earliest stages of conceptualizing the Sacred Traditions of the Himalayas exhibition, on view through June 14, I went through the Metropolitan Museum's holdings and came across a stunning body of jewelry that came to the collection in 1915. As the Department of Asian Art is celebrating its centennial this year, I was excited to have the opportunity to present the very first Himalayan works to come into our collection—the first of many works acquired beginning exactly one hundred years ago.
Posted: Friday, May 29, 2015
Posted: Thursday, May 7, 2015
Best known for his compelling portraits of world leaders, Platon spent several months photographing couture garments from designers such as Christian Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander McQueen, and Yves Saint Laurent, as well as traditional Chinese costume and decorative art objects. I spoke with him about the book, his work, and the importance of artists as cultural mediators.
Posted: Tuesday, April 14, 2015
In 1915, the president of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert de Forest, turned his attention to Asia and acquired a large group of Nepalese and Tibetan gem-studded objects. Among them was this dazzling ornament for the forehead of a sculpture. It presents the four directional Buddhas in diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, as well as auspicious materials such as red coral and turquoise. At the center, the cosmic axis of the universe, is a vajra featuring a large diamond surrounded by lapis lazuli—a clear reference to Vajrayana Buddhism as the diamond path.