Saturday, September 03, 2011
Asian Art Museum 1: Sunday Afternoon
On the way to the Heart of the City Farmers Market last Sunday, I stopped in for a quick tour of the Asian Art Museum's rotating permanent collection to see what was "newly on view."
On the top floor, there's an exhibit of prints by Abdur Rahman Chughtai (1899–1975), who was Pakistan's preeminent 20th century artist.
A Chinese American board member raised in San Francisco once told me that many older Chinese don't like coming to the museum because much of the ancient art feels like it is haunted by spirits. Passing the Philippine burial urns near the elevator always reminds me of the truth of that superstition.
In the Thailand room, one of Doris Duke's recently acquired treasures (above) is newly on view, and it's a stunner...
...as is a collection of Indonesian head dresses...
...and a trio of Tibetan hangings nearby.
The ancient Chinese art room is filled with bronze age objects that look like they are from a different culture and time altogether...
...and some of the vases look like they could be from Native American cultures, which makes the Bering Strait theory of migration from Asia to the Americas all the more persuasive.