On view through August 31, 2008, The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) present “Parting the Curtain: Asian Art Revealed,” an exhibition of treasures from the museum’s diverse collection of historical Asian art, as well as works on long-term loan from private collections.
The more than 50 works in the exhibition represent a wide geographical range †India, Tibet, China, and Japan †and span 10,000 BCE through the Twentieth Century. These works include a collection of rare Tibetan religious statues and meditative paintings, or thangkas, on public display for the first time in the Bay Area.
Because the exhibition covers such broad geographical and chronological territory, “Parting the Curtain” is subdivided into thematic sections:
Buddhist Imagery of India and Tibet presents bronze statuary and other objects that trace the formation of Buddhist religious art from Third Century India through much later manifestations in the Himalayas.
Tibetan and Buddhist Ritual Arts: The Bernard-Murray Tibetan Collection continues the exploration of Tibet, with two more typical thangkas made of pigments painted on cloth, rare 1930s film footage of Tibetan ritual dance and a horse saddle covered in gold, silver and silk brocade.
BAM/PFA holds one of the top collections of historical Chinese paintings in the country. The Literati Tradition: Scholarly Pursuits in China and Japan presents several landscape works from the collection by Chinese literati, along with related works by Japanese Nanga painters.
Ideals of Beauty in India presents a selection of sculptures demonstrating Indian ideals of feminine beauty: large breasts, ample hips and thin waists.
The exhibition is capped by Art for the Afterlife: Chinese Tomb Culture, a collection of glazed earthenware storage jars from Chinese tombs of the Neolithic period (10,000′,100 BCE), and additional glazed ceramic figurative pieces from the Han (206 BCE′20 CE) and Tang (618‹07) dynasties.
The museum is at 2626 Bancroft Way, just below College Avenue near the UC Berkeley campus. For information, www.bampfa.Berkeley.edu or 510-642-0808.