The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, July 21, 2019


Paintings, sculpture and manuscripts from the Mogao Caves on view at Princeton University Art Museum
Parinirvana, Mogao Cave 158, dated Middle Tang dynasty (781–848). Dunhuang, Gansu province. Photograph taken in 1943–44. The Lo Archive.


PRINCETON, NJ.- Since their creation over 1,500 years ago, the Mogao Caves, located on the outskirts of the city of Dunhuang in northwestern China, continue to narrate the history of religious art – Buddhist, Daoist and other religions – and connect the Eastern and Western worlds through their once central location at the gateway to the Silk Road. This fall, the caves come to Princeton through a time capsule of objects dating from A.D. 270 to the 1960s. Sacred Caves of the Silk Road: Ways of Knowing and Re-creating Dunhuang explores the aesthetic and transcontinental nature of this World Heritage Site. The exhibition is on view at the Princeton University Art Museum from Oct. 3, 2015 through Jan. 10, 2016.

The more than 700 surviving Mogao caves are a treasure trove of artistic riches, including 45,000 square meters of wall paintings, 60,000 texts and more than 2,000 painted stucco sculptures. Since their rediscovery in the early 20th century, the caves and their contents have fascinated archaeologists and scholars, and they have been the focus of international efforts to ensure their conservation. Princeton University, in collaboration with the Dunhuang Academy in China, is involved in a multiyear research project on the site.

Sacred Caves of the Silk Road explores how we come to know Dunhuang through diverse original materials found at the caves, including architecture, paintings, sculpture and manuscripts. How knowledge of these materials is then conveyed – via photography, artist renderings, travelogues, printed publications or digital reproductions – then determines how we are able to understand Dunhuang, including a Dunhuang of the imagination. The exhibition brings together both original and secondary materials to allow for a deeper look into the history of the sacred site, the sociocultural sphere it operated within and the religious life of the region.

“The Dunhuang caves represent one of the most multifaceted cultural achievements in the world, the result of centuries of accreted uses and meanings,” notes James Steward, Nancy A. Nasher–David J. Haemisegger Director of the Princeton University Art Museum. “Princeton is proud to play a part in preserving the caves for the future and in disseminating knowledge of these sites for those who can’t directly travel the Silk Road.”

Original objects in the exhibition come in part from a cache of paintings, banners and scrolls that was hidden within one of the caves. Sealed sometime at the beginning of the 11th century, the cache was discovered by a local monk in the early 20th century. Two loaned paintings from this “Library Cave” that are now in the collection of the British Museum anchor the exhibition. Both date to the Tang dynasty (618–907) and represent the portable images that were produced for Buddhist devotees in the Dunhuang region. One painting, titled Tejaprabha Buddha and the Five Planets and dated 897, is a rare, richly colored depiction of the Buddha of the Blazing Light. The other, Portrait of a Monk, depicts a figure through monochrome ink-line painting. By contrast, three small sculptural fragments now in the Art Museum’s collections represent devotional images that belonged to the architectural program of the Dunhuang caves.

Also on display are a wealth of texts that present the extraordinary range of written documents to have survived from Dunhuang and the surrounding region, including Buddhist sutras and a third-century edition of the Daode jing, a central text in Daoism. Manuscripts on loan from Princeton’s East Asian Library present another side of the region’s cultural life. Dating from before the 14th century, they include fragments of an almanac and an examination paper, types of everyday written records that rarely survive, as well as texts written in scripts other than Chinese, pointing to Dunhuang’s strategic location as a Silk Road terminus that hosted diverse peoples.

Sacred Caves of the Silk Road also draws on an important archive of historic photographs from Dunhuang to frame a context for the objects on display. Beginning in 1943, photographers James and Lucy Lo undertook an eighteen-month-long research project during which they produced a remarkable set of black-and-white negatives of the exteriors and interiors of the Dunhuang caves. The resulting images document the caves at an important point in their history, prior to the conservation and restoration work done in recent decades, and reveal the artistry of the photographers. The exhibit displays a selection of these photographs as well as color renderings of two paintings from a single cave that the Los and their team created to provide a record of the cave’s visual and architectural program.

Dora C. Y. Ching, associate director of the P. Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art and co-curator of the exhibition, said that “through our research project on the Lo Archive of photographs, we first had a view of what the caves were like in the 1940s, and then we were able to visit Dunhuang and step further back in time as we entered the caves, each time uncovering layer upon layer of complexity and experiencing the richness of Dunhuang – from the artistry of the architecture, the paintings and the sculpture to the sheer physicality of the site.”

Cary Y. Liu, curator of Asian Art at the Princeton University Art Museum, added that “Sacred Caves of the Silk Road is the culmination of more than five years of collaborative research, and it has allowed us to explore a part of the world that I never imagined I would ever reach. It was like traveling to the far side of the moon.”

The exhibition has been complemented by two installations: Imaging Dunhuang: Artistic Renderings from the Lo Workshop on view in the Museum’s Works on Paper Study Room, and the photography installation Dunhuang through the Lens of James and Lucy Lo is currently on display in Princeton University’s Department of Art and Archaeology, located in nearby McCormick Hall.

Sacred Caves of the Silk Road: Ways of Knowing and Re-creating Dunhuang was organized by the Princeton University Art Museum with the P. Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art.





Today's News

October 17, 2015

Roy Lichtenstein painting expected to set record at Christie's New York auction

Vilhelm Hammershøi's 19th-and 20th-century masterpieces on view at Scandinavia House

National Gallery of Art announces major acquisition of Jacob Ochtervelt painting

Works by Cézanne, Gauguin, Giacometti, Modigliani, Monet and Picasso to be offered at Christie's

Paintings, sculpture and manuscripts from the Mogao Caves on view at Princeton University Art Museum

New Britain Museum of American Art unveils new addition to the Chase Family Building

Culture Minister Ed Vaizey places a temporary export bar on a painting by Rembrandt

Chicago Authored: The Chicago History Museum launches first entirely crowd-sourced exhibition

Burntwood School wins 2015 Royal Institute of British Architects Stirling Prize

Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology's massive granite Sphinx is the subject of new book

Exhibition of new paintings by Austrian artist Heimo Zobernig on view at Simon Lee Gallery

Wadsworth Atheneum presents first exhibition to pair the work of Andy Warhol and Robert Mapplethorpe

Three new exhibitions to discover at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal

"Jewel City: Art from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition" opens at the de Young

Art of Judith Leiber handbags auction at Heritage sells out 100%

"Field Guide: Photographs by Jochen Lempert" showcases beauty, mystery of nature

Sculptor and painter Bill Barrett exhibits works at the Reading Public Museum

SUNDAY Art Fair showcases 25 international galleries

Amon Carter Museum presents "Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum"

Clark Art Institute selects Eileen Myles as recipient of Clark Prize

New Museum presents the first museum exhibition of Barbara Rossi's work in New York

Peruvian artist Cecilia Paredes exhibits at Tabacalera Promoción Del Arte in Madrid

SOS to rescue legendary US liner from scrap heap

BAMPFA introduces Art Wall, which will display a rotation of large-scale commissioned murals

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful