The Brooklyn Museum inaugurates a new gallery dedicated to Buddhist art


Brooklyn Museum. Photo: Richard Barnes

On January 21, 2022, the Brooklyn Museum will unveil a new gallery dedicated to the Arts of Buddhism collection, the latest in a series of new galleries for the Asian and Islamic Arts collections.

The installation, curated by Joan Cummins, Lisa and Bernard Selz, Senior Curator of Asian Art, juxtaposes works of art from various regions and periods, with nearly seventy objects from fourteen countries, dating to the 2nd century AD. our era in the early 2000s.

The Arts of Buddhism gallery serves as an introduction to the principles and history of the Buddhist religion. Most of the works on display are sculptural representations of Buddhas and other illuminated figures.

“Shrine with an Image of a Bodhisattva”, dated between 1736 and 1795, is part of the collection of the Brooklyn Museum. The design shows both Chinese and Western influences. Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum

Also included are ritual tools and ornaments for use in Buddhist temples as well as a small selection of paintings. Recent exhibits include several of the museum’s masterpieces, including a rare 8th-century image of the goddess Tara from Odisha, India; a Chinese silver reliquary dedicated by a Buddhist monk and his mother; and a seated Buddha in gilded bronze from southern China.

There are also at least nineteen objects that have never been exhibited at the museum. Additionally, as part of the gallery’s inaugural installation, a pair of important 14th-century paintings of Japanese mandalas will be on display for the first time in twenty-five years.

This bronze statue, “Seated Buddha Shakyhmuni”, was donated to the Brooklyn Museum by the Asian Art Council. Sitting and wearing a long, flowing Chinese-style robe, this image depicts the historical Buddha Shakyamuni. Photo courtesy of the Brooklyn Museum

The Arts of Buddhism gallery joins the suite of galleries for arts from Asia and the Islamic world, located on the second floor of the museum, which also includes galleries for arts from Korea, China, Japan and Southeast Asia. -East. Later in 2022, the museum will unveil galleries for Himalayan arts, Islamic world arts, and South Asian arts.

These galleries are part of a multi-year project to modernize the museum’s second floor, which features state-of-the-art cabinetry and lighting, and reflects extensive curatorial research and curation.


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