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  • Thumbnail for Men Talking - closeup of signature
    Men Talking - closeup of signature

    Hanging scroll; ink and color on paper. Dimensions: 31 1/4 x 21 in.Condition is excellent with rollers missing on scroll.

  • Thumbnail for Fan painting - Calligraphy
    Fan painting - Calligraphy by Wu Changshi (1844-1927)

    15 lines of running script alternating between lines of eight and four characters, with some variation in number of characters per line. These are followed by six lines of date, dedication, and signature. Wu Changshi, a name Wu Jun adopted later in life, is arguably the most famous and most important artist represented in this collection. He is also one of the latest, and most of his work and stylistic innovations occurred in the twentieth century. This work is dated, but the area of the date is heavily abraded and unreadable. It is most likely, however, an early example of his calligraphy. His career is as well recorded as any artist of his generation, and the extensive comments by Claudia Brown and Kuiyi Shen are readily available and need not be repeated here in detail. Shen says of Wu that he was "…one of the most innovative of early twentieth-century painters, and his career best represents the process of evolution form artistic patterns of late imperial China to those of the modern era." He began his career in the late Qing aspiring to a position as an official, but ended up in Shanghai as a commercial artist, two roles which were at the opposite ends of the social spectrum. The characters are written in an aggressive and rapid hand. There is a tendency for horizontal strokes to rise rapidly from left the right, and all strokes have noticeable modulation. These are aspects of his mature calligraphy, but more cautiously expressed. The same form of the character "Jun" in the signature can be seen in an early painting found in Brown. As with all famous Chinese artists, a certain caution is advisable, and a scholar familiar with Changshi's calligraphy through his career should be asked for an opinion. Nevertheless, this is a very important work that should be shared with those doing work in this area.

  • Thumbnail for Copy of Persian Miniature
    Copy of Persian Miniature

    8 x 14 inches, depicting a hunting scene. These are extremely well executed copies of 15th- and 16th-century Persian miniatures (Timurid and Safavid). This image lends itself to pedagogical purposes in several ways. First, they raise the issue of copies and how we approach and consider these; certainly they will not be the only works in the project that are relevant to such questions, but they are quite fine works. Second, and perhaps far more significant, is that they represent folios from manuscripts that were created at the Muslim courts of 16th-century Persia (Tabriz and Shiraz) and thus exemplify the subjects that typify Muslim manuscripts of the era. Opportunities to engage issues relevant to the Islamic world (considering that the vast majority of the world's Muslims live in Asia, not the Middle East) will be of great value to students. For example, these paintings lend themselves to discussions of the nature of iconoclasm in Islamic art, to what kinds of subjects might and which might not be depicted in painting, as well as to the diverse attitudes within various schools of Islam regarding the acceptability of painting. They include depictions of historical themes and themes from poetry. Thus they could also generate interesting research projects for students: they lend themselves to research on the styles of Persian painting they represent; to identification of the particular themes depicted; and of course students could likely identify the particular paintings they copy. Finally, because these styles of Persian painting formed an essential element in shaping the Mughal painting school that arose in 16th-century India (the two artists that headed the emperor Akbar's painting workshop came to India from the Safavid court at Tabriz), they represent a direct link to Mughal painting in India.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait of a Man -  detail of inscription on throne
    Portrait of a Man - detail of inscription on throne

    Possibly an ancestor portrait of a Qing-type figure. Male has graying beard, wears traditional Qing cap. Bright blue, fur-lined robe decorated with cranes on phoenixes. Undergarment has 4-clawed dragons, flaming pearl, over stylized rocks and waves.Very cursive character faintly visible in lower right. Further inscription on base of throne and written sideways shown here.

  • Thumbnail for Leather shadow puppet
    Leather shadow puppet

    This is a Kayonan or Gunung, representing the cosmic tree/mountain. It is used with a fluttering motion by the puppeteer (dalang) to open and close a performance of the Wayang Kulit. It functions as a cosmic axis, both linking and separating the forces of light and dark, the gods and the demons whose interaction informs the drama of worldly life. Both the tree and mountain indicate the link between the coarse (sakala) world of everyday life and the subtle (niskala) realm of invisible beings made visible to human eyes in the form of flickering shadows. The dalang symbolically invites the audience to metaphorically climb the cosmic tree to the subtle realms above.

  • Thumbnail for Amitayus Thangka
    Amitayus Thangka by Unknown

    46 (L) x 26-1/2 (W) inches. Painting on cloth in U-Tri central Tibetan style. Amitayus, the Buddha of Eternal Life, is seated in the center on a lotus throne between a peony and a peach tree. Adorned with jewelry, he wears a gold crown on his head and blue scarves draped over his shoulders. He holds the Vase of Eternal Life in his hands. Above him, left to right, are Avalokiteshvara, Tsongkhapa, and a Akshobhya Buddha Yab Yum. Below are the White Tara i the left corner and Usnishavijaya in the right. On the reverse are eight red in mantric inscriptions: Om ah hum. Mounted as a scroll with red and yellow floral silk brocade frames on blue floral silk brocade with a painted yellow and green and red silk dust covers and ornate repousse silk lotus design scroll ends.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait of a Man -  detail of inscription
    Portrait of a Man - detail of inscription

    Possibly an ancestor portrait of a Qing-type figure. Male has graying beard, wears traditional Qing cap.Bright blue, fur-lined robe decorated with cranes on phoenixes. Undergarment has 4-clawed dragons, flaming pearl, over stylized rocks and waves. Very cursive character faintly visible here. Further inscription on base of throne is written sideways.

  • Thumbnail for Portrait of a Man
    Portrait of a Man

    Possibly an ancestor portrait of a Qing type figure. Male has graying beard, wears traditional Qing cap. Bright blue, fur-lined robe decorated with cranes on phoenixes. Undergarment has 4-clawed dragons, flaming pearl, over stylized rocks and waves.

  • Thumbnail for Two Birds in a Tree
    Two Birds in a Tree

    Watercolor on paper;4 ft x 2 ft. This painting likely was intended to allude to conventional themes in China: particular birds (and ducks) with their own specific iconography, while the flowering trees allude the seasonal themes. Although the brushwork style here is dramatically different from its predecessors,' bird and flower' paintings, or 'fur and feather' paintings, are a tradition which can be traced back to the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127). Comparing this painting to examples from the Song dynasty and later would provide students with a succinct exercise in understanding developments in Chinese painting, both in terms of continuities and innovation.

  • Thumbnail for Leather shadow puppet
    Leather shadow puppet

    Tantric sorcery image for use in Wayang Kulit performance. Images of disarticulated body parts are used as talismans in occult Balinese ritual. This would be used in a narrative passage to indicate the casting of a spell by one of the major characters in the story.

  • Thumbnail for Traveler in Autumn
    Traveler in Autumn

    15 1/8 X 6 3/4 watercolor painting of a traveler during autumn.

  • Thumbnail for Copy of Persian Miniature
    Copy of Persian Miniature

    8 x 14 inches. Depicts a palace scene. These are extremely well executed copies of 15th- and 16th-century Persian miniatures (Timurid and Safavid). They lend themselves to pedagogical purposes in several ways. First, they raise the issue of copies and how we approach and consider these; certainly they will not be the only works in the project that are relevant to such questions, but they are quite fine works. Second, and perhaps far more significant, is that they represent folios from manuscripts that were created at the Muslim courts of 16th-century Persia (Tabriz and Shiraz) and thus exemplify the subjects that typify Muslim manuscripts of the era. Opportunities to engage issues relevant to the Islamic world (considering that the vast majority of the world's Muslims live in Asia, not the Middle East) will be of great value to students. For example, these paintings lend themselves to discussions of the nature of iconoclasm in Islamic art, to what kinds of subjects might and which might not be depicted in painting, as well as to the diverse attitudes within various schools of Islam regarding the acceptability of painting. They include depictions of historical themes and themes from poetry. Thus they could also generate interesting research projects for students: they lend themselves to research on the styles of Persian painting they represent; to identification of the particular themes depicted; and of course students could likely identify the particular paintings they copy. Finally, because these styles of Persian painting formed an essential element in shaping the Mughal painting school that arose in 16th-century India (the two artists that headed the emperor Akbar's painting workshop came to India from the Safavid court at Tabriz), they represent a direct link to Mughal painting in India.

  • Thumbnail for Two Birds in a Tree - detail
    Two Birds in a Tree - detail

    Ink and color on paper. 4 ft x 2 ft. This painting likely was intended to allude to conventional themes in China: particular birds (and ducks) with their own specific iconography, while the flowering trees allude the seasonal themes. Although the brushwork style here is dramatically different from its predecessors, 'bird and flower' paintings, or 'fur and feather' paintings, are a tradition which can be traced back to the Northern Song dynasty (960-1127). Comparing this painting to examples from the Song dynasty and later would provide students with a succinct exercise in understanding developments in Chinese painting, both in terms of continuities and innovation.

  • Thumbnail for Leather shadow puppet
    Leather shadow puppet

    Monkey warriors to be used in shadow puppet (Wayang Kulit) performances of the Ramayana epic.

  • Thumbnail for Leather shadow puppet
    Leather shadow puppet

    Wayang Kulit clown. This is possibly Bagong, one of the clown servants of the Pandawa family in the Mahabharata epic, marked by his fat belly and backside, bald head, slow deep voice and dull wit. He was once equipped with a movable lower jaw to dramatize the attributes of his speech. Of note is the ceremonial dagger (keris) in his sash. His dark color and heavy features indicate his relative coarseness in contrast to his refined Pandawa masters.

  • Thumbnail for Copy of Persian Miniature
    Copy of Persian Miniature

    8 x 14 inches; subject matter here a palace scene. These are extremely well executed copies of 15th- and 16th-century Persian miniatures (Timurid and Safavid). This image lends itself to pedagogical purposes in several ways. First, they raise the issue of copies and how we approach and consider these; certainly they will not be the only works in the project that are relevant to such questions, but they are quite fine works. Second, and perhaps far more significant, is that they represent folios from manuscripts that were created at the Muslim courts of 16th-century Persia (Tabriz and Shiraz) and thus exemplify the subjects that typify Muslim manuscripts of the era. Opportunities to engage issues relevant to the Islamic world (considering that the vast majority of the world's Muslims live in Asia, not the Middle East) will be of great value to students. For example, these paintings lend themselves to discussions of the nature of iconoclasm in Islamic art, to what kinds of subjects might and which might not be depicted in painting, as well as to the diverse attitudes within various schools of Islam regarding the acceptability of painting. They include depictions of historical themes and themes from poetry. Thus they could also generate interesting research projects for students: they lend themselves to research on the styles of Persian painting they represent; to identification of the particular themes depicted; and of course students could likely identify the particular paintings they copy. Finally, because these styles of Persian painting formed an essential element in shaping the Mughal painting school that arose in 16th-century India (the two artists that headed the emperor Akbar's painting workshop came to India from the Safavid court at Tabriz), they represent a direct link to Mughal painting in India.

  • Thumbnail for Copy of Persian Miniature
    Copy of Persian Miniature

    8 x 14 inches; subject matter a palace scene. This is one of several extremely well executed copies of 15th- and 16th-century Persian miniatures (Timurid and Safavid). They lend themselves to pedagogical purposes in several ways. First, they raise the issue of copies and how we approach and consider these; certainly they will not be the only works in the project that are relevant to such questions, but they are quite fine works. Second, and perhaps far more significant, is that they represent folios from manuscripts that were created at the Muslim courts of 16th-century Persia (Tabriz and Shiraz) and thus exemplify the subjects that typify Muslim manuscripts of the era. Opportunities to engage issues relevant to the Islamic world (considering that the vast majority of the world's Muslims live in Asia, not the Middle East) will be of great value to students. For example, these paintings lend themselves to discussions of the nature of iconoclasm in Islamic art, to what kinds of subjects might and which might not be depicted in painting, as well as to the diverse attitudes within various schools of Islam regarding the acceptability of painting. They include depictions of historical themes and themes from poetry. Thus they could also generate interesting research projects for students: they lend themselves to research on the styles of Persian painting they represent; to identification of the particular themes depicted; and of course students could likely identify the particular paintings they copy. Finally, because these styles of Persian painting formed an essential element in shaping the Mughal painting school that arose in 16th-century India (the two artists that headed the emperor Akbar's painting workshop came to India from the Safavid court at Tabriz), they represent a direct link to Mughal painting in India.

  • Thumbnail for Copy of Persian Miniature
    Copy of Persian Miniature

    8 x 14 inches; subject matter a meeting in an exterior setting. These are extremely well executed copies of 15th- and 16th-century Persian miniatures (Timurid and Safavid). This image lends itself to pedagogical purposes in several ways. First, they raise the issue of copies and how we approach and consider these; certainly they will not be the only works in the project that are relevant to such questions, but they are quite fine works. Second, and perhaps far more significant, is that they represent folios from manuscripts that were created at the Muslim courts of 16th-century Persia (Tabriz and Shiraz) and thus exemplify the subjects that typify Muslim manuscripts of the era. Opportunities to engage issues relevant to the Islamic world (considering that the vast majority of the world's Muslims live in Asia, not the Middle East) will be of great value to students. For example, these paintings lend themselves to discussions of the nature of iconoclasm in Islamic art, to what kinds of subjects might and which might not be depicted in painting, as well as to the diverse attitudes within various schools of Islam regarding the acceptability of painting. They include depictions of historical themes and themes from poetry. Thus they could also generate interesting research projects for students: they lend themselves to research on the styles of Persian painting they represent; to identification of the particular themes depicted; and of course students could likely identify the particular paintings they copy. Finally, because these styles of Persian painting formed an essential element in shaping the Mughal painting school that arose in 16th-century India (the two artists that headed the emperor Akbar's painting workshop came to India from the Safavid court at Tabriz), they represent a direct link to Mughal painting in India.

  • Thumbnail for Leather shadow puppet
    Leather shadow puppet

    A demon attacked by a monkey warrior. To be used in a Wayang Kulit performance of the Ramayana.

  • Thumbnail for Leather shadow puppet
    Leather shadow puppet

    Hanuman, the leader of the monkey army and loyal servant of Rama. This specific image of Hanuman would be used only once in the Wayang Kulit Ramayana performance to represent the episode in which Hanuman flies to Lanka bearing the healing herbs that will enable the distressed monkey army to rally and turn the tide in their epic struggle with the demon army.