Saturday, September 27, 2008
Magic Carpet Ride
The special Ming Dynasty show recently packed up at the Asian Art Museum before traveling on to Maryland and Missouri, of all places.
On Thursday afternoon, the huge building was delightfully empty so you could stroll through the permanent collection in perfect peace.
In the ancient India section, one is greeted by carved elephants, Buddhas, and major phallic symbols (see above).
Newly displayed textiles are dotted throughout the museum including the extraordinary Pakistani headwrap above.
In the Korean section, my favorite monster screen has returned, a 19th century trompe l'oeil library created for a 19th century ruler who was nostalgiac for his days as a scholar.
Around the corner are modern fabric pieces...
...which seem to be a Korean specialty.
The second floor room for special exhibits is currently displaying a grab-bag of "Arts of the Islamic World"...
...with an exquisite Koran in the center.
Say what you want about Muslims, but any religion that has inspired rugs such as the one above will never truly die.