Selections from the Asian Collection
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The Museum's Japanese print collection consists entirely of Ukiyo-e (color woodblock prints) from the very early to the very late nineteenth century. Composed of inherited prints and recent acquisitions, our collection is notable for concentrating on the most exciting and influential period of Japanese printmaking, a time of magnificently inventive and even heroic experimentation in an art form which was both popular and of the highest quality—an art form without which modern Western art would be inconceivable. We thus possess the heartbreaking still classical elegance of Utamaro in the early nineteenth century, the down to earth vitality of street life in Shunsen, the healthy lustiness and warmth of Hiroshige, and the wild imagination, skill and tragi-comedy of Yoshitoshi. The Museum also possesses masterpieces by printmakers such as Kunisada, Eisen, Yoshitoshi's great teacher Kuniyoshi, as well as many other artists.
The Museum began collecting South Asian art seriously in 1992, and the collection has grown through a combination of purchase and generous gifts from patrons. The collection concentrates on paintings and drawings, but also includes sculpture from Indian, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Tibet and Sri Lanka. Sculptures from the Gandhara region of ancient India (present day Pakistan) from c. 2nd-3rd century are the earliest works in the collection; 19th century paintings from north India are the latest. It features important manuscript leaves from the 15th and 16th century, including precursors to Mughal painting and significant examples from the reign of the emperor Akbar (r. 1556-1605). The collection is strongest in Rajput painting from the 17th to 19th century, with works attributed to Sahibdin and Nainsukh.
Rajasthan and Contiguous regions