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Volume 47 – Number 4

May 2016

'Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road'

COVER: View of the Mogao caves showing,
in the foreground, access to Cave 263 prior
to reinforcement of the cliff, circa 1955

(Photograph: Li Zhenbo,
courtesy of and © Dunhuang Academy)

Our cover image, from the archives of the Dunhuang Academy, takes us back in time to remind us of the extraordinary effort and industry that 20th century scholars applied to documenting and restoring the Mogao caves—later to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Some sixty years after the image was taken, this issue marks the achievements that a global community of people have made in the study and conservation of this site of singular importance. A major exhibition, ‘Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China’s Silk Road’, opens at the Getty Center this month. Coinciding with the exhibition is a symposium in honour of the academy's honorary president Fan Jinshi. Our issue begins with an interview with Fan’s successor, Wang Xudong, who discusses the significance of the site and the creation of a global digital resource through the work of both the International Dunhuang Project and the Digital Dunhuang project. Our authors—all noted scholars of Dunhuang studies—explore various facets of the art of Dunhuang, revealing the dynamic nature of the field and the exciting discoveries that are still being made.

The exhibition, organized by the Getty Conservation Institute and Getty Research Institute in partnership with the Dunhuang Academy, celebrates more than a quarter of a century of collaboration between the institutions. It has been made possible thanks to the support of presenting sponsor the Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, with additional support from the Dunhuang Foundation, the Henry Luce Foundation, the Blakemore Foundation and East West Bank, and generous individuals.

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