Saturday, 5 July 2014

Along the Ancient Silk Routes: Central Asian Art from the West Berlin State Museums and other catalogues

The Metropolitan Museum has an excellent Tab on her  site under "Research", called MetPublications

Under this Tab are available a large collection of a.o. old exhibition catalogues, downloadable and/ or readable.

I selected two of them.
About MetPublications
MetPublications is a portal to the Met's comprehensive publishing program with 1,500 titles, including books, online publications, and Bulletins and Journals from the last five decades.
MetPublications includes a description and table of contents for most titles, as well as information about the authors, reviews, awards, and links to related Met titles by author and by theme. Current book titles that are in-print may be previewed and fully searched online, with a link to purchase the book. The full contents of almost all other book titles may be read online, searched, or downloaded as a PDF. Many of these out-of-print books will be available for purchase, when rights permit, through print-on-demand capabilities in association with Yale University Press. For the Met's Bulletin, all but the most recent issue can be downloaded as a PDF. For the Met'sJournal, all individual articles and entire volumes can be downloaded as a PDF.
Readers may also locate works of art from the Met's collections that are included in every book and periodical title and access the most recent information about these works in Collections.
Readers are also directed to every title located in library catalogues on WATSONLINE and WorldCat.

When Silk Was Gold: Central Asian and Chinese Textil

Four thousand years ago a remarkable culture, that of the pastoral nomads, emerged in the Eurasian steppes north of the Great Wall of China, in the vast expanse of grasslands that stretches from Siberia into Central Europe. By the first millennium B.C., material prosperity among the nomads had brought about a flowering of creativity and the evolution of a new artistic vocabulary.
The pastoral peoples left no written record, but the artifacts that remain provide a key to understanding their culture and beliefs. Beautifully crafted and highly sophisticated and abstract in design, these objects are visual representations of the natural and supernatural worlds that guided their lives.
An equestrian people, the nomads produced many objects associated with horses and the paraphernalia of riding. These were embellished primarily with animal motifs. The figures that populate these small objects—ibex and hedgehogs, deer and camels, griffins and dragons—at time exhibit violence and aggression, at times an appealing charm, but always spirit and vitality. This "animal style" would remain a significant source of inspiration in the decorative arts of the Eurasian continent for centuries to come.
The artistic exchange between the pastoral peoples and their settled Chinese neighbors through trade, migration, marriage alliances, and warfare contributed to the cultural development of both groups. This book chronicles that exchange and tells of the legacy of their art, with iconographic analyses and detailed descriptions of nearly two hundred artifacts.
The objects, a recent gift to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, are drawn from the distinguished collection of Eugene V. Thaw, with additional works selected from other New York collections and from the holdings of the Metropolitan Museum.
Table of contents
About the authors
Press reviews

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