Past Exhibitions

Small Gilt Bronze Buddhist Sculptures
June 30, 2015 - September 13, 2015

The Buddhist sculptures on view in this exhibition are made from bronze—a copper alloy—that is plated, or gilded, with gold. Some such sculptures are solid metal, but most have hollow interiors. Hollow sculptures are cast by pouring molten metal into the space between an outer mold and an inner mold. The thickness of the walls of such a sculpture can vary greatly depending on the conditions of its production.
Buddhist images in gilt bronze were made India, China, and Korea before being transmitted to Japan, where they were first produced during the Asuka period (592–710). Some of the finest examples date from the 600s, when numerous skilled metalworkers immigrated to various parts of Japan from China and the Korean peninsula, bringing with them the latest casting technology. The small sculptures that they produced—averaging about 30 cm in height—were probably used for private worship by individuals or families. These images are important for our understanding of ancient Japanese Buddhist faith as well as Japan's early exchange with other parts of Asia.

Japanese and Asian Sculpture
June 30, 2015 - September 13, 2015

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