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Brooklyn Museum To Unveil New Gallery For Buddhist Arts

The Brooklyn Museum plans to unveil a new gallery next month devoted to Buddhist art with many unseen objects.

Titled the “Arts of Buddhism”, the upcoming gallery is part of the New York-based museum renewed interest in the art from Eastern and Islamic cultures. The new gallery will open on 21 January 2022. It will feature 70 objects taken from 14 countries, including India, Japan, and Thailand. Some of the objects are as old as 2nd century C.E., while others are hardly two decades old.

In the past, museums have usually made galleries devoted to countries or geographical regions. However, “Arts of Buddhism” will only focus on Buddhist culture and its influence on various countries. Reportedly, 19 objects in the new collection have never been exhibited before. The collection also includes two mandala paintings from 14th century Japan, which were last exhibited 25 years ago.

Brooklyn Museum

The new collection will be installed by Joan Cummings, who is the senior curator of Asian art at the Brooklyn Museum. In a statement, Cummings said:

“We are excited to bring out some of Brooklyn’s great treasures in this gallery, and we’re excited to show them in a new way. Instead of dividing things up by region or setting them up chronologically, we are juxtaposing Buddhas from India, Thailand, and Japan—and bodhisattvas from Indonesia, Korea, and China—made hundreds of years apart. In some cases the similarities are obvious; in others one has to look carefully to see what the images have in common. And careful looking will reveal some absolutely brilliant artistry because the museum has really deep and important holdings of Buddhist art.”

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The goal of “Arts of Buddhism” is said to introduce the tenets and teachings of the Buddhist religion to a wider audience. The new gallery will be housed on the second floor of the museum, which is currently undergoing a modernization process. The Brooklyn Museum plans to introduce similar galleries in the coming year, including ‘Arts of South Asia’, ‘Arts of Himalayas’, and ‘Arts of the Islamic World’.