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Volume 32 – Number 5

May 2001

The exhibition 'Treasures from a Lost Civilization: Ancient Chinese Art from Sichuan', currently on view at the Seattle Art Museum, is their most ambitious to date and the first comprehensive showing in the United States of the finds at Sanxingdui. In addition, a related symposium will be held on 3 and 4 August (see note on p. 51). In an attempt to understand Sanxingdui ritual, Jay Xu's essay visualizes the rich and breathtaking appearance of the finds prior to their burial. Using examples from the exhibition of lei, zun and bells unique to the Shu culture, Gao Dalun establishes the probable dates of their emergence and the duration of their use. Anthony Barbieri-Low examines the origins of the motifs and composition of Roman themes on Eastern Han period lacquers to explain the distinction between copying and translation of foreign motifs into indigenous art. Filip Suchomel discusses some of the most interesting and unique materpieces of Japanese export lacquerware in the Czech republic. Christine Guth's look at the contributions of lesser-known benefactors to the Peabody Essex Museum draws attention to the varied cultural perspectives of the collection. Six gilt-bronze images from the unprecedented exhibition of Tibetan art at the Shanghai Museum have been seleceted by Hang Kan for his discussion on the sources of influence. This issue also features additional letters and opionion pieces about the destruction of Buddhist monuments and artworks in Afghanistan. 

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