Indian art featured in two
new Chicago art galleries
Dec 15 (IANS) The Art Institute of Chicago has opened two
new galleries devoted to Asian art - one features Indian,
Southeast Asian, Himalayan and Islamic art, while the other
has only Indian and Islamic art.
two galleries that opened Saturday offer visitors more of
the museum's renowned Asian art collection and they feature
the only space in the museum outside of the Modern Wing designed
by Renzo Piano.
galleries create a new crossroad for the museum, bringing
together a remarkable collection that spans centuries and
creates a literal bridge from the arts of East Asia to the
ancient art of Western civilization and the Modern Wing, the
new home for South and Southeast Asian art cohesively includes
more than 430 sculptures, artefacts, and paintings from the
Art Institute's holdings that have in the past been displayed
only in temporary or special exhibitions.
of these are from the Marilynn B. and James W. Alsdorf Collection
of Indian, Southeast Asian, Himalayan and Islamic Art.
completion of the Alsdorf Galleries is vital to our presentation
of Asian art, and it deepens our commitment to serving a global
population. How fitting that Asian art will now fill the very
centre of the Art Institute, serving as a link between the
existing museum and the Modern Wing," said James Cuno,
president and Eloise W. Martin director of the Art Institute
are thrilled that so many treasures from the Alsdorf Collection
will finally be on permanent display, thanks to Marilynn Alsdorf's
Art Institute is home to one of the world's strongest holdings
of Asian Art," said Alsdorf associate curator Madhuvanti
Ghose. "Because of space limitations, however, visitors
have rarely been able to see the full strength and depth of
Alsdorf Collection stands out as a true jewel among the museum's
holdings, internationally recognised for its scope, beauty,
and quality. I am thrilled to be part of this massive project
of unveiling this collection and showcasing it for museum
visitors," added Ghose.
Alsdorf Galleries represent the complete transformation of
Gunsaulus Hall, previously a windowless walkway built in 1916
over the railroad tracks that pass under the Art Institute.
renovated by Piano, the Alsdorf Galleries are a light filled
space with views of Millennium Park and the Chicago skyline.
new Asian art spaces extend from existing galleries that house
the art of China, Japan and Korea.
full connection to the new galleries is created by the axis
between the famous large Buddha, in the entry space to the
Asian galleries, and the 12th century stone Buddha from South
India in the centre of the Alsdorf Galleries.
this axis viewers will find exquisite objects of Himalayan
art, many of which have not been on view since the 2003 exhibition
'Himalayas: An Aesthetic Adventure'.
centre of the Alsdorf Galleries feature works from one of
the strongest sections of the museum's collection of South
Asian art: classical and medieval Indian sculpture.
in this area represent not only the diversity of Indian culture
itself but also focus on religious subjects.
new Galleries of Indian and Islamic Art contain later works
of Indian art representative of pre-1947 India and also its
Imperial Mughal and royal past.
from Middle Eastern and Islamic cultures of South Asia complete
the redesigned space.