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Baltimore Museum of Art Offers New Insights into Asian Art Collection with Reinstalled Galleries

BALTIMORE, MD — A new interpretation of the BMA’s Asian art collection debuts on Sunday, October 1, with the addition of works from India, Indonesia, Iran, and Türkiye displayed alongside works from East Asia. This presentation of 182 objects provides a more complete understanding of the development of art across Asia through juxtapositions that offer new insights into materials, cultural and technological influences, and exchange and trade from the 26th century BCE to the 20th century. Approximately half of the works haven’t been on view for decades—if at all.

“Artworks from India, Japan, and China were among the BMA’s earliest acquisitions, and the collection has since grown to significant depth. We are delighted now to provide our community with a deeper look into the BMA’s Asian art holdings with this reinstallation and to invite greater understanding of these intricate and compelling objects,” said Asma Naeem, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. “The reinstalled galleries also offer new perspectives on the cultural exchanges that led to the evolution of artistry and the spread of ideas across centuries. This presentation approach reflects the BMA’s vision to examine the history of art through the lens of global development, transcending geographic and political boundaries.”

Highlights of the more than 50 artworks that will be new to visitors are a Large Cup Decorated with Stylized Mountain Goats from Iran (900-700 BCE), a pair of Covered Jars with Daoist Symbols from China (1100-1300), and a Lid of Buddhist Monk’s Alms Bowl from Thailand (1825-1850). The majority of the objects are by unidentified artists, but a few exceptions are New Year’s Game Paddle Decorated with Longevity Symbols (late 19th-early 20th century) by Sakai Doitsu, Barrel-Shaped Vase with High-Relief Fish Design (1920-30) by Yamamoto Shuko, and Ocean Whirlpool (2001) by Monden Kogyoku.

The galleries are organized thematically with the first presenting a variety of ceramics, prints, and textiles that relate to traditions and beliefs pertinent to daily life, such as feasting and writing, with an emphasis on geographic origin—from Korea in the north to Bali in the south and from Japan in the east to Türkiye in the west. Objects such as a Small Dish with Aquatic Motif (early 13th-century) from China, a Deep Dish Decorated with a Sailing Vessel (1660-1680) from Türkiye, and a Large Platter Decorated with a Scene of Grasshoppers in a Garden (Late 17th century) from Japan demonstrate technological and stylistic exchanges and innovations between some of Asia’s centers of artistic production.

More information:

Unidentified Artists. Deep Dish Decorated with a Sailing Vessel. 1660-1680. Iznik or Kütahya kilns, Bursa province, Türkiye. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Purchase with exchange funds from Gift of Albert Hendler, Bernard R. Hendler, Bernice Hendler Kolodny and Florence Hendler Trupp, BMA 1957.83