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The Flame and the Lotus: Indian and Southeast Asian Art from the Kronos Collections

The Flame and the Lotus: Indian and Southeast Asian Art from the Kronos Collections

Lerner, Martin
191 pages
106 illustrations
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Until recent years Indian and Southeast Asian art has been poorly represented in the Museum's collections, not through any deliberate policy of neglect but rather through passivity fostered by insufficient public interest in this field. Historically, Indian and Southeast Asian art has not been the highest priority of the Department of Far Eastern Art. Since the appointment of Martin Lerner as curator, however, this area of collecting has had a strong advocate on the Museum's staff. As museums are in effect a palimpsest of successive curatorial biases, it was inevitable that the imbalance would eventually be redressed, and over the past ten years we have accomplished a great deal toward strengthening our holdings of Indian and Southeast Asian art. We have been strongly supported in our efforts by an enthusiastic public response and, no less significantly, by a dedicated group of collectors, connoisseurs, and generous donors.

The Kronos collection of Indian and Southeast Asian art, formed in a relatively short period, is a model of what can still be accomplished in this field. Keen judgment, sensitivity, and a good eye have shaped a collection of uncommonly high quality and of surprisingly broad range. Those responsible for creating the collection have been most generous in sharing their treasures, and I am happy to have this opportunity to express my gratitude for the significant gifts made to the Metropolitan from the Kronos Collections over the last few years. These gifts have not only markedly enriched the Museum's holdings but they have also, most notably in several instances where the objects are both beautiful and unique, advanced our knowledge of the Asian civilizations they represent.

We are pleased to reaffirm the Metropolitan's commitment to Indian and Southeast Asian art and to pay tribute to all those who have worked to promote the field, particularly Martin Lerner for his untiring and catalyzing efforts both within the Museum and outside of it. We hope this exhibition will engender further interest in the great artistic traditions of India and Southeast Asia, which deserve a place of pride beside the art of the other civilizations represented in the Metropolitan's collections.

A Pair of Royal Earrings, Gold, India (probably Andhra Pradesh)
India (probably Andhra Pradesh)
ca. 1st century BCE
Rondel with the Goddess Hariti, Silver with gold foil, Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
Pakistan (ancient region of Gandhara)
ca. 1st century
Vishnu, Stone, India (Jammu and Kashmir, ancient kingdom of Kashmir)
India (Jammu and Kashmir, ancient kingdom of Kashmir)
ca. second half of the 7th century
Seated Buddha, Bronze, India
late 8th–early 9th century
Tara, the Buddhist Savioress

, Bronze, Bangladesh (probably Comilla District)
Bangladesh (probably Comilla District)
ca. second half of the 8th century
Bangle, Bronze, India
9th–10th century
Book Cover from a Manuscript of the Ashtasahasrika Prajnaparamita Sutra, Ink and color on wood, with metal insets, Nepal (Kathmandu Valley)
Nepal (Kathmandu Valley)
10th–11th century
Yaksha, possibly Kubera, Sandstone, Vietnam
late 6th–early 7th century
Seated Buddha, Sandstone, Vietnam
7th–8th century
Standing Prajnaparamita, the Goddess of Transcendent Wisdom, Bronze, Thailand
ca. 11th century
Seated Buddha, Bronze, Thailand
first half of the 13th century
Seated Ganesha, Bronze, Thailand
ca. 15th century
Chalice, Bronze, India (Bihar)
India (Bihar)
9th–10th century

View Citations

Lerner, Martin, Peter Johnson, and Metropolitan Museum of Art, eds. 1984. The flame and the lotus: Indian and Southeast Asian art from the Kronos collections. [Publ. in connection with an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from September 20, 1984, to March 3, 1985]. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art [u.a.].