Peeking at Life through Death

Jade amulets, bronze vessels, dancing figures, accessories -- we've come to expect that from ancient tombs in China.  But sex aides and toilets?  That was a first for me, though I will admit not the most fascinating part of the Asian Art Museum's "Tomb Treasures: New Discoveries from China's Han Dynasty"  (you can read my review … Continue reading Peeking at Life through Death

Objects with a point of view

When I described a visit to the Indo-Pacific department of Yale University Art Gallery of in the company of its curator, Ruth Barnes,  I could not possibly squeeze into the WSJ account all the amazing things she had to say.  Which is why we have blogs...  not that we always have time to write  them... In the … Continue reading Objects with a point of view

and yet more DIA favorites

Bill's turn to weigh on the permanent collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts museum. Portraits attracted him on this particular day, beginning with the self-conscious self-portrait of  Salvator Rosa, an Italian 17th-century painter. "I love it that he seems to be cultivating an air of mystery and asceticism," says Bill, "and then we learn … Continue reading and yet more DIA favorites

Meet me at the Guanyin in Saint Louis

When I first spotted this statue of Guanyin from afar, I knew I had found the piece in the Saint Louis Art Museum I would gladly risk prison for.  So I got closer...and closer... and closer till I was standing before this bodhisattva of compassion.  I could have sworn that his chest then gently inflated.   … Continue reading Meet me at the Guanyin in Saint Louis