Asian and Southeast Asian

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Description: The Archaeology of Ancient China
The prehistory and the formation process of Chinese civilization have long been of interest to world historians.  However, knowledge of this period is constantly evolving because much of our understanding of ancient China is based on archaeological data that continues to come to light.

This fourth edition of K.C. Chang’s now-standard text on Chinese archaeology incorporates the latest information that has become available since the end of the Cultural Revolution.  Chang has rewritten and reorganized the material, using a new format to discuss the period from the early humans and their Palaeolithic cultures through the first agricultural settlements to the rise and development of the earliest civilizations around 1000 B.C.  Chang now demonstrates that several regional cultures developed independently of one another and began to be linked together around 4000 B.C.  According to Chang, the interaction of these cultures laid the foundation for the Chinese civilization that we recognize in the early dynasties and in China’s written history.  Chang also presents provocative views on the distinctive process of the rise of civilization, urbanism, and the state society in China, as embodied in the Chinese archaic bronzes.  The book includes more than 300 illustrations.

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Print publication date September 1987 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300037821
EISBN 9780300256697
Illustrations 357
Print Status out of print
Description: The Art of Mu Xin: Landscape Paintings and Prison Notes
Mu Xin (b. 1927) is one of the leading expatriate artist-intellectuals of our time and is known for his complex writings and paintings. Clearly a formidable figure in the cultural and intellectual history of Chinese modernism, Mu Xin is admired for his unique synthesis of Chinese and Western aesthetic sensibilities. This catalogue focuses on a group of thirty-three landscape paintings that Mu Xin painted in 1978–79, in the immediate aftermath of the Great Cultural Revolution. Many of these works have never been exhibited or published in the West. In addition, the book features Mu Xin’s Prison Notes, some sixty-six calligraphic sheets that were written when the artist was in solitary confinement in China in 1972.
Author
Print publication date October 2001 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300090758
EISBN 9780300247930
Illustrations 140
Print Status out of print
Description: Art, Tea, and Industry: Masuda Takashi and the Mitsui Circle
In this book Christine Guth examines the intimate relationship between art collecting, the tea ceremony, and business through the activities of Masuda Takashi (1848–1938), the highly charismatic director of the Mitsui conglomerate whose opulent life and passionate pursuit of art continue to influence new generations of aspiring business magnates in Japan. An elaborate social ritual in which the worlds of business and art collecting intersected, the tea ceremony guided Masuda in amassing the finest collection of Sino-Japanese art in the early Japanese industrial era. Guth's exploration of his aesthetic ideas deepens our understanding of not only the formation of the canon of Japanese art but also the role of art in the ideology of early modern Japan.

At a time when there were few art museums in Japan and Japanese art was becoming internationally known, Masuda's tea gatherings functioned as a salon where his colleagues, other collectors, and art dealers could view, discuss, and handle works of art. Under his influence, art collecting and mastery of the tea ceremony became integral parts of the business training and activities of Mitsui executives. Masuda's collection was rich in calligraphy, ink painting, lacquer, and ceramics, but it was especially noted for its Buddhist painting and sculpture. These works, which were dispersed after World War II, are now in museums and private collections throughout Japan and the United States.
Print publication date January 1993 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780691032061
EISBN 9780300252101
Illustrations 77
Print Status out of print
Description: The Arts of India, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas at the Dallas Museum of Art
In recent years, the Dallas Museum of Art has expanded its collection of South Asian art from a small number of Indian temple sculptures to nearly 500 works, including Indian Hindu and Buddhist sculptures, Himalayan Buddhist bronze sculptures and ritual objects, artwork from Southeast Asia, and decorative arts from India’s Mughal period. Artworks in the collection have origins from the former Ottoman empire to Java, and architectural pieces suggest the grandeur of buildings in the Indian tradition.

This volume details the cultural and artistic significance of more than 140 featured works, which range from Tibetan thangkas and Indian miniature paintings to stone sculptures and bronzes. Relating these works to one another through interconnecting narratives and cross-references, scholars and curators provide a broad cultural history of the region.
Print publication date January 2013 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300149883
EISBN 9780300257298
Illustrations 227
Print Status in print
Description: Early Chinese Jades in the Harvard Art Museums
From personal ornamentation to funerary practice, from palace decoration to private devotion, jade has played a major role in Chinese social, cultural, and political life for millennia. Exploring the history of this revered stone through the esteemed Grenville L. Winthrop Collection at the Harvard Art Museums—which includes some of the finest examples of ancient and archaizing jades outside China—this volume explains how and why jade developed its special significance. In-depth entries on over one hundred objects present recent archaeological discoveries and new information garnered from conservation analysis, while Jenny So’s broad and engaging narrative not only elucidates the layered meanings of the objects and their iconography but also delves into the unique qualities of the material and the craftsmanship involved in quarrying and working jade.

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Print publication date March 2019 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300237023
EISBN 9780300247794
Illustrations 283
Print Status in print
Description: From Stone to Paper: Architecture as History in the Late Mughal Empire
By the 18th century, the Mughal Empire was well beyond its so-called golden age. Its control of the Indian subcontinent was increasingly threatened by regional Indian states, as well as by the encroaching British Empire. In response to a rapidly changing sociopolitical landscape, the Mughal emperors used architecture to harness their illustrious past and stage cultural authority for contemporary audiences. Chanchal Dadlani provides the first in-depth look at this crucial period of architectural history. Discussing a rich array of built forms and urban spaces—from grand imperial mosques to Delhi’s bustling thoroughfares—the volume sheds light on long-overlooked buildings. It also explores representations of architectural monuments that circulated in the form of building plans, manuscript paintings, and postcards. Ultimately, the book reveals how Mughal architects, artists, and patrons built on the cultural legacy of their imperial predecessors to create the very concept of a historical style identifiable as Mughal.

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Print publication date February 2019 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300233179
EISBN 9780300250961
Illustrations 119
Print Status in print
Description: The Glassell Collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston: Masterworks of...
One of the world's top hundred art collectors, Alfred C. Glassell, Jr. (1913–2008), was fascinated by gold, but not for its monetary value. Glassell valued instead the spiritual significance that gold held in many ancient cultures, particularly those of Africa, South America, and Indonesia. Over the years, he acquired an astonishing number of artworks, assembling the largest privately held collection of Pre-Columbian gold. From 1997 to 2004, Glassell donated works of African and Indonesian gold to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Upon his death in 2008, he bequeathed his collection of Pre-Columbian gold to the museum. 

Masterworks of Pre-Columbian, Indonesian, and African Gold explores two hundred of these dazzling works, many published here for the first time. Spanning from 2000 B.C. to A.D. 1600, these precious objects reflect a variety of cultures, such as the Calima, Quimbaya, Sicán, Moché, and Coclé, and a range of geographic locations, from Mexico to Argentina and from Africa to Indonesia. The book offers fresh insights into the enduring appeal of gold and its artistic manifestations in diverse cultures.

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Print publication date March 2012 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300175950
EISBN 9780300260809
Illustrations 224
Print Status out of print
Description: The Image of the Black in African and Asian Art
The Image of the Black in African and Asian Art asks how the black figure was depicted by artists from the non-Western world. Beginning with ancient Egypt—positioned properly as part of African history—this volume focuses on the figure of the black as rendered by artists from Africa, East Asia, and the Indian subcontinent. The aesthetic traditions illustrated here are as diverse as the political and social histories of these regions. From Igbo Mbari sculptures to modern photography from Mali, from Indian miniatures to Japanese prints, African and Asian artists portrayed the black body in ways distinct from the European tradition, even as they engaged with Western art through the colonial encounter and the forces of globalization.

This volume complements the vision of art patrons Dominique and Jean de Menil who, during the 1960s, founded an image archive to collect the ways that people of African descent have been represented in Western art from the ancient world to modern times. A half‐century later, Harvard University Press and the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research completed the historic publication of The Image of the Black in Western Art—ten books in total—beginning with Egyptian antiquities and concluding with images that span the twentieth century. The Image of the Black in African and Asian Art reinvigorates the de Menil family’s original mission and reorients the study of the black body with a new focus on Africa and Asia.

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Author
Print publication date February 2017 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780674504394
EISBN 9780300244731
Illustrations 265
Print Status in print
Description: Indian Painting from Cave Temples to the Colonial Period
From refined portraits of resplendent maharajas to earthy depictions of divine rogues cavorting with milkmaids, Indian miniature paintings depict the world as it should be: radiant, plentiful and passionate. These manuscript illustrations combine vibrant color with exquisite delicacy, offering immediate impact while also rewarding lengthy examination.

This fascinating volume presents the art form for non-specialists, surveying the most notable styles and periods of Indian painting and offering an introduction to the legends and historic personalities that inspire its entertaining subjects. The text covers such diverse topics as scriptures written on palm leaves, likenesses of favorite animals, images inspired by music, techniques and materials, and Indian reactions to European art. The Museum of Fine Art Boston's collection of Indian paintings, assembled by the esteemed scholar A. K. Coomaraswamy, is justly renowned as one of the finest in the world, and Indian Painting, one of the only readily available comprehensive histories of the subject, is the first book since Coomaraswamy's seminal catalogues of the 1920s to draw so extensively on the MFA's collection. It includes 120 of the most remarkable pieces, many of which are reproduced in color for the first time.
Print publication date January 2006 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780878467068
EISBN 9780300260519
Illustrations 129
Print Status out of print
Description: The Intelligence of Tradition in Rajput Court Painting
Winner of the Charles Rufus Morey Award

Winner of the Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy Book Prize

The genre of Rajput painting flourished between the 16th and 19th centuries in the kingdoms that ruled what is now the Indian state of Rajasthan (place of rajas). Rajput paintings depicted the nobility and court spectacle as well as scenes from Krishna’s life, the Hindu epics, and court poetry. Many Rajput kingdoms developed distinct styles, though they shared common conventions. This important book surveys the overall tradition of Indian Rajput painting, while developing new methods to ask unprecedented questions about meaning.

Through a series of in-depth studies, Aitken shows how traditional formal devices served as vital components of narrative meaning, expressions of social unity, and rich sources of intellectual play. Supported by color illustrations of rare and often inaccessible paintings, Aitken’s study spans five centuries, providing a comprehensive and innovative look at the Rajasthan’s court painting traditions and their continued relevance to contemporary art.

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Print publication date April 2010 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780300142297
EISBN 9780300260533
Illustrations 226
Print Status in print
Description: Objects of Translation: Material Culture and Medieval “Hindu-Muslim”...
Objects of Translation offers a nuanced approach to the entanglements of medieval elites in the regions that today comprise Afghanistan, Pakistan, and north India. The book—which ranges in time from the early eighth to the early thirteenth centuries—challenges existing narratives that cast the period as one of enduring hostility between monolithic "Hindu" and "Muslim" cultures. These narratives of conflict have generally depended upon premodern texts for their understanding of the past. By contrast, this book considers the role of material culture and highlights how objects such as coins, dress, monuments, paintings, and sculptures mediated diverse modes of encounter during a critical but neglected period in South Asian history.

The book explores modes of circulation—among them looting, gifting, and trade—through which artisans and artifacts traveled, remapping cultural boundaries usually imagined as stable and static. It analyzes the relationship between mobility and practices of cultural translation, and the role of both in the emergence of complex transcultural identities. Among the subjects discussed are the rendering of Arabic sacred texts in Sanskrit on Indian coins, the adoption of Turko-Persian dress by Buddhist rulers, the work of Indian stone masons in Afghanistan, and the incorporation of carvings from Hindu and Jain temples in early Indian mosques. Objects of Translation draws upon contemporary theories of cosmopolitanism and globalization to argue for radically new approaches to the cultural geography of premodern South Asia and the Islamic world.
Print publication date January 2018 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780691180748
EISBN 9780300249750
Illustrations 184
Print Status in print
Description: Tea Culture of Japan
Imported to Japan from China during the 9th century, the custom of serving tea did not become widespread until the 13th century. By the late 15th and 16th centuries, tea was ceremonially prepared by a skilled tea master and served to guests in a tranquil setting. This way of preparing tea became known as chanoyu, literally “hot water for tea.”

This book explores the aesthetics and history of the traditional Japanese tea ceremony, examining the nature of tea collections and the links between connoisseurship, politics, and international relations. It also surveys current practices and settings in light of the ongoing transformation of the tradition in contemporary tea houses. Among the precious objects discussed and pictured are ceramic tea bowls, wooden tea scoops, metal sake pourers, and lacquered incense containers, as well as folding screens that evoke the historical settings of serving tea.
Print publication date March 2009 (out of print)
Print ISBN 9780300146929
EISBN 9780300247923
Illustrations 167
Print Status out of print
Description: The Visual and Spatial Structure of Landscapes
In this imaginative book, Tadahiko Higuchi applies a methodology to landscape that is similar to that developed by Kevin Lynch for investigating the extent to which urban settings are legible and "imageable" to their inhabitants. He identifies features such as landmarks, boundaries, paths, and nodes that enable people moving through a landscape to piece together a reliable mental map of their surroundings, beginning with major structural elements and filling in with successively finer detail.
PublisherMIT Press
Print publication date March 1983 (in print)
Print ISBN 9780262081207
EISBN 9780300238389
Illustrations 154 Illus.
Print Status in print