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Asian Art


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.

Now at the Met

A First Look at Sacred Traditions of the Himalayas

Kurt Behrendt, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Friday, December 19, 2014

The exhibition Sacred Traditions of the Himalayas, opening tomorrow, explores Buddhist devotional practices across the vast Himalayan region from the thirteenth through the early twentieth century. These practices included ceremonial dance and musical performance, both important dimensions of Buddhist ritual that unified this vast region, which includes Nepal, Tibet, Bhutan, and Mongolia.

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Now at the Met

Painting on Silk with Nazanin Hedayat Munroe

Catherine Rust, Studio Programs Intern, Education

Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2014

In October the Studio Workshop event Silk Painting: Kimono-Inspired Designs explored the rich motifs and exciting compositional choices inspired by works from the exhibition Kimono: A Modern History, currently on view through January 19. Students practiced a variety of silk application methods, including paste resist, block printing, and free-hand painting.

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Teen Blog

Fashion Moving Forward

Sage, TAG Member

Posted: Friday, December 5, 2014

It's taken me years to admit, but I have an addiction to all things Japanese. At the impressionable age of five, my father showed me my first Godzilla movie; several King Ghidorah action figures, three hundred Pokémon cards, and fourteen Studio Ghibli films later, I've not only converted my calculus notebook into a journal in which I try to memorize Hiragana, Katakana, and Kanji, but I've come to terms with the extent of my obsession. As a result, it was practically inevitable that I found myself roaming through the Met's exhibition Kimono: A Modern History, on view through January 19, 2015. Featuring a range of kimonos from the eighteenth century to the present day, it fed right into my interests.

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Now at the Met

A Rare Opportunity to See the Genius of Ancient Chinese Bronze Casters

Zhixin Jason Sun, Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A cast-bronze buffalo from the Shanghai Museum is now on view in the exhibition Innovation and Spectacle: Chinese Ritual Bronzes (through March 8, 2015). This fantastic animal-shaped vessel once served as a wine warmer in sacrificial rituals in the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 b.c.).

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Teen Blog

A Sanctuary at the Met

Hannah, Former High School Intern

Posted: Friday, November 21, 2014

The last time I was wandering around the Met, I heard four successive "Wows!" exclaimed by awestruck museumgoers as they entered gallery 206, the entrance to the Asian Art galleries. This comes as no surprise to me, as the impressive thirteen-foot-high statue of the Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva that sits in the gallery is stunningly amazing. The entire gallery is quite remarkable. However, what I feel is truly amazing about this part of the Museum is the immediate quietness and tranquility one encounters when they walk up the steps into the smaller galleries that make up the wing.

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Now at the Met

Celebrating #NetsukeNovember on Twitter

Anabelle Gambert-Jouan, Graduate Intern, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Monday, November 17, 2014

The Metropolitan Museum of Art boasts a collection of almost one thousand netsuke, with a particular emphasis on works from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In addition to the selection currently displayed in the exhibition Kimono: A Modern History, on view September 27, 2014–January 19, 2015, daily netsuke posts can also be seen on the Museum's Twitter account throughout the month of November as part of the campaign #NetsukeNovember.

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Now at the Met

Waves, Waterfalls, and Whirling Water on Japanese Kimono

Monika Bincsik, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014

The way that kimonos are used and the types of designs to decorate them have shifted dramatically over the last 150 years, shaped by the dialogue of Japanese traditional craft art with modern inventions and Western ideas. As shown in a selection of objects currently found in the exhibition Kimono: A Modern History, on view through January 19, 2015, we can follow this narrative of cultural interaction by focusing on the depiction of water motifs used on kimono.

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Teen Blog

A Guard's Regard

Lizzie, Former High School Intern

Posted: Friday, November 7, 2014

A person can have an individual relationship with art, but at The Metropolitan Museum of Art there is often a third party involved when strolling through the galleries: the security guard. It didn't take me long to realize how wise the guards at the Met are: Many of these men and women are extremely curious about art and how it is perceived, and therefore take advantage of being in one of the world's greatest museums during their work day.

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In Circulation

The Art of Japanese Books

Mindell Dubansky, Preservation Librarian, Thomas J. Watson Library

Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Earlier this month, the Thomas J. Watson Library sponsored two events devoted to the scholarship of Japanese books of the Edo period. These events were developed to create an environment of collegial collaboration surrounding the subject of Japanese books and to celebrate the Museum's acquisition of the Arthur and Charlotte Vershbow Collection of Japanese Illustrated Books, a group of over 250 ehon (illustrated books) from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.

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Met Museum Presents Blog

Reflecting on Gods and Goddesses

Kurt Behrendt, Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art

Posted: Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The three-part Gods and Goddesses lecture series, which concluded on September 30, attempted to broadly address the multifaceted deities of the Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain religions—faiths that are at the foundation of South Asia's great sculptural tradition. The first lecture began with Buddhism, tracing its image-making tradition that emerged to give manifest form to the Buddha's enlightened relics. Over time it continued to reflect developments within the Buddhist tradition, with the imagery becoming more complex as artists strove to represent subtle aspects of ideology.

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