The Asian Art Museum often provides loans from our collection to other museums for permanent gallery display (see my May 7 blog entry about lending to the San Antonio Museum of Art) and for special exhibitions. Sometimes the borrowing institution travels these exhibitions on to other museums. This past summer, we lent several objects to an exhibition titled The Silk Road – Ancient Pathway to the Modern World organized by the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) in New York.
Since this is a natural history museum, the show was presented in a very different manner than an exhibition at the Asian would be.
The AMNH exhibition took the visitor along the world’s oldest international highway, on a voyage that spans six centuries (AD 600-1200). It showcased four representative cities: Xi’an, China’s Tang Dynasty capital; Turfan, a bustling oasis; Samarkand, home of prosperous merchants; and Baghdad, a meeting place for scholars, scientists, and philosophers.
While the AMNH presentation of The Silk Road ended in August, the show has hit the road (or airways) and will now travel to four additional museums outside of the United States:
- The Art Science Museum, Singapore, December 20, 2010 – April 3, 2011.
- The National Museum of Natural Science, Taichung, Taiwan, June 11 – September 11, 2011.
- The National Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Taipei, Taiwan, October 29, 2011 – January 29, 2012
- The National Museum of Australia, Canberra, Australia, March 31- September 1, 2012.
That’s a whole lot of traveling! In addition to the objects included in the AMNH exhibition, we just finished packing up one addition that will be added to the traveling version of the show.
This object is a three-footed plate of glazed earthenware from China’s Tang dynasty (618-906). It’s been packed into a crate for safe transportation from San Francisco to New York to the four Pacific cities of The Silk Road tour, continuing a journey that started in China many, many, years ago.
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