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Volume 40 – Number 5

Jun 2009


Asian Art and the Legacy of Sherman E. Lee at The Cleveland Museum of Art
Japanese Screens from The Art Institute of Chicago and the Saint Louis Art Museum
Ningbo Buddhist Painting at the Nara National Museum
Ceramics and Society in the Song Dynasty

Detail from Nirvana
By Lu Xinzhong (act. 13th century)
Hanging scroll, ink, colours and gold on silk
Nara National Museum

The articles in this issue highlight museum exhibitions held this summer. While varied in approach and material, all demonstrate the significance of Japan as a cultural, religious and aesthetic mediator. 

Anita Chung, Stanislaw Czuma and James Ulak discuss the legacy of Sherman E. Lee, the legendary curator-director. The time Lee spent in post-war Japan with the Allied Arts and Monuments division had a seminal influence on how he would subsequently shape The Cleveland Museum's substantial Asian art holdings.

Janice Katz discusses harimaze screens from the AIC and St. Louis, the collecting of which were probably inspired by early 20th century Japonisme in the US. Yukio Lippit places Ningbo Buddhist painting, a Chinese genre which for decades was primarily known through its survival in Japanese temples and collections, back within its domestic context.

Rose Kerr offers a historical and social perspective on understanding Song ceramics. John Finlay interviews Jacques Giès, director of the Guimet. Alonzo Emery reviews several exhibitions on the East Coast that reflect the two-way engagement between Asia and the West. 

There are auction reports from New York and Hong Kong and previews of fairs in Europe and in Taiyuan, Shanxi. In the commentary, Peter Tompa explains the implications of the Memorandum of Understanding that the US and China signed to restrict import of Chinese antiquities to the US.


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