Volume 48 – Number 5 | Orientations
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Volume 48 – Number 5

Sep/Oct 2017

The New Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation Galleries of Buddhist Art at the Victoria and Albert Museum

‘Gardens, Art, and Commerce in Chinese Woodblock Paints’
Turbulent Times for a Repentant Monk
When Colour Matters: Qing Imperial Ceramic Vessels for State Ritual in Beijing
The New Arts of Korea Gallery at the Brooklyn Museum
Alice Boner: A Visionary Artist and Scholar Across Two Continents

COVER: Ruan Xiu in Landscape (detail)
By Chen Hongshou (1599–1652), c. 1639
Hanging scroll, ink and colour
on silk, 125.73 x 49.85 cm
Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (B79D8)

In this issue we celebrate the new displays of Buddhist art at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Sponsored by The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation, the remodelled galleries are innovative in bringing together some of the museum’s important Buddhist sculptures from diverse areas. John Clarke introduces the thinking behind the approach, as well as some representative works. Two new additions are included in the display: a dharmachakra or ‘wheel of the Buddhist law’ from the Dvaravati kingdom in Thailand, discussed by John Clarke in a separate article, and a Pala period stele of Avalokiteshvara, examined by Susan L. Huntington.

Our Chinese art articles begin with T. June Li’s exploration of gardens depicted in woodblock prints. Julia M. White looks at Chen Hongshou’s (1599–1652) response to the challenges faced by Ming loyalists at the end of the dynasty, and Iain M. Clark considers the difference between moon-white and creamy white as glazes used in Qing imperial ceramic vessels for state ritual.

The Brooklyn Museum is home to one of the most important collections of Korean art in the US, showcased in a new gallery opening this September. Joan Cummins relates the background to the collection and discusses some highlights. We also present the work of the Italian-born Swiss artist Alice Boner (1889–1981), who lived in India for over 40 years and not only depicted local life, but also made important discoveries regarding the symbolism of Indian sacred art.

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