Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt
Cats’ personalities have made them Internet stars today. In ancient Egypt, cats were associated with divinities, as revealed in Divine Felines: Cats of Ancient Egypt. Cat coffins and representations of the cat-headed goddess Bastet are among the extraordinary objects that reveal felines’ critical role in ancient Egyptian religious, social, and political life. Dating from the Middle Kingdom to the Byzantine period, the nearly seventy works include statues, amulets, and other luxury items decorated with feline features, which enjoyed special status among Egyptians. The exhibition, organized by the Brooklyn Museum of Art, also dedicates a small section to cats’ canine counterparts.
Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia
Encounter Buddhist art through the lens of spiritual practice and the perspectives of practitioners. Drawing on the Freer|Sackler’s collections from across Asia, this exhibition expands the understanding of Buddhism in Asian art through both beautiful objects and immersive spaces. Visitors can step into a Tibetan Buddhist shrine, travel the Buddhist world with an eighth-century Korean monk, visit a Sri Lankan stupa, meet teachers and guardians, and discover multiple Buddhas and bodhisattvas. Encountering the Buddha illuminates the ways in which art and place embody and express the teachings of Buddhism.
Considered one of the largest and finest holdings of its kind, the collection comprises works dating from the first millennium BCE, beginning with the rule of the Achaemenid kings (550–330 BCE), to the early Islamic period. The installation explores the meaning behind these objects' overarching artistic and technical characteristics.
Resounding: Bells of Ancient China
Musical innovations in the Bronze Age meld with today’s digital technology in this interactive exploration of ancient Chinese bells. Thousands of years ago, Chinese musicians worked with foundry technicians to cast matched sets of bronze bells of different sizes to produce a range of tones. They developed oval-shaped bells that, depending on where they were struck, produced two distinct pitches with an intentional interval between them. Resounding investigates this advancement, with displays of early instruments and a bell set discovered in a Chinese tomb, videos of ancient bells being played, and chances to compose your own music on bronze bells.
Internationally acclaimed artist Subodh Gupta transforms familiar household objects, such as stainless steel and brass vessels often found in India, into wondrous structures. The Freer|Sackler features the artist’s monumental installation Terminal. Composed of towers of brass containers connected by an intricate web of thread, Terminal converts the readymade into a glimmering landscape. Ranging from one to fifteen feet tall, the spires recall architectural features found on religious structures such as churches, temples, and mosques.
Now on viewTurquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan
Through October 29, 2017
Current exhibitions »
Gone but not forgottenFrom 2002 to the present
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