Friday, 27 December 2013

Cleveland Museum of Art's new West Wing Opens Soon

Cleveland Museum of Art's new West Wing designed by Rafael Vinoly is now finished.
Thanks to the completion of the Cleveland Museum of Art’s new West Wing, Northeast Ohioans can now travel with ease – artistically speaking – to places that once fired the imaginations of Alexander the Great, Marco Polo, Columbus and Magellan.  On Thursday, the museum will launch a members-only preview of six new galleries containing nearly 500 works of art in jade, silk, bronze, gold, porcelain, ink on paper and dozens of types of stone, including the blue-gray schist of Afghanistan and the red sandstone of the Ganges Valley. A week later, on Thursday, Jan. 2, the new wing and its treasures will open to the general public. Ranging from monumental Hindu temple sculptures to delicate porcelain basins used by Chinese scholars to wash calligraphy brushes, the works capture the aesthetic, cultural and religious values of dozens of dynasties and empires that once reigned over a vast swath of Asia.
Steve Litt, 'Rediscovering China, India and Southeast Asia at the Cleveland Museum of Art: The new West Wing', The Plain Dealer December 26, 2013.

The video tour shows a lot of objects (without labels at the moment, one hopes this will change) organized by size and shape, big-sticking-up-in-the-air-statues, and things-flat-on-the-wall but apparently a mishmash in which big bits of knocked-off buddhist  and Hindu stone scuplturess figure predominantly. Before being added to this wannabe- encyclopaedic collection, many probably served a few decades as eye-catching ("classy") interior decor. In fact they more obviously raise the question, "where did that bit come from? And that one? and that?". Let's hope that the catalogue raisonné answers those questions.

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