Cummer Museum opens new exhibition: Buddha and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon

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Cummer Museum opens new exhibition: Buddha and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon
Made in China, Jiangxi Province. Stem Cup, Ming period, mid- to late 15th century (probably Chenghua era, 1465–87). Porcelain painted with underglaze cobalt blue and overglaze red enamel (Jingdezhen ware) Asia Society, New York: Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection, 1979.176. Courtesy American Federation of Arts.

JACKSONVILLE, FLA.- The newest exhibition at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, Buddha and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon: Masterworks from the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society, opened on June 25, 2022. The exhibition will be on view to the public through September 18, 2022.

This exhibition illuminates the cultures and history of Asia while serving as a window into the extraordinary diversity of Asian art. The Rockefellers believed that by building a collection of the highest quality for the public to enjoy, the collection—begun in the early 1960s--would serve as a means to develop an understanding of Asian cultures. It was their hope that through this understanding, bridges to future economic and sociopolitical dialogues would be built between citizens of the United States and of Asian countries.

“Buddha and Shiva, Lotus and Dragon, featuring spectacular Indian Chola bronzes, extraordinary Southeast Asian sculptures, and impressive East Asian ceramics, reveals great achievements in Asian art spanning more than two millennia,” said Dr. Andrea Barnwell Brownlee, the George W. and Kathleen I. Gibbs Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Museum. “This exhibition celebrates the rich diversity and importance of Asian art to the world and underscores how philanthropic vision can serve society for future generations. Moreover, it honors the vision of the Rockefellers and also that of our founder, Ninah Cummer, and their shared belief that art has the power to build bridges and opportunities.”

This exhibition presents 67 masterpieces collected by John D. Rockefeller 3rd (1906–1978) and his wife, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller (1909–1992). The works include sculptures, bronzes, and ceramics ranging from the late 6th century BCE to the early 19th century CE, and originating from Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam. Sherman E. Lee (1918–2008), an important art museum director and pioneering scholar of Asian art in the United States, worked with the Rockefellers as an advisor to their collection, and his influence is addressed throughout this exhibition. The collection was bequeathed to the Asia Society in New York City following Mr. Rockefeller’s death in 1978.

A fully illustrated catalogue written by Adriana Proser, the Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Quincy Scott Curator of Asian Art at the Walters Art Museum and the former John H. Foster Curator for Traditional Asian Art at Asia Society Museum, will accompany the exhibition.

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