Friday, February 19, 2010
AIC: New Galleries of Asian Art
On Dec 13, 2008, the Art Institute opened two new Asian Art galleries..
- Alsdorf Galleries of Indian, Southeast Asian, Himalayan and Islamic Art [G140- G142]. Previously this was the Gunsaulus Hall..
- Galleries of Indian and Islamic Art [G151-G152].. North of McKinlock Court.
The new space design is by Renzo Piano.. The only space in the museum outside of the Modern Wing designed by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop. The gallery contains about 435 works, half of which are from the Alsdorf collection.
The Alsdorf galleries extend from galleries that house the art of China, Japan, and Korea, with the seated Buddha from China, at the entrance [first image].. There is a seamless transition to Indian art, with a stone statue of Buddha from south India, in the center of the gallery [second image], reminding the viewer of Buddhism’s Indian origins..
To me this is personal. My maternal grandmother was from Bodh Gaya, a place where Lord Buddha attainment of nirvana [Enlightenment] in 528 BC. Many of my childhood vacations were spent in Bodh Gaya.. Coming from a civilization, more than 2000 years old, I was very happy to see many statues dating back to 8th and 10th century..
Image 1: Buddha, China - Tang Dynasty [A.D. 618-907], c. 725/50.
Limestone with traces of polychrome.
Image 2: Buddha, India, 12th century Buddha from South India / stone..
Image 3: Karttikeya, God of War, seated on a peacock / Granite..
India [Andhra Pradesh, Ganga period, c 12th century]
Image 4: Shiva, "Lord of the Dance" [Nataraja] / Bronze..
India [Tamil Nadu, Chole period, c. 1000]
Alsdorf Galleries, previously known as the Gunsaulus Hall, was a windowless walkway filled with the museum's collection of European arms and armours.. Gunsaulus Hall was built in 1916, over the railroad tracks that pass under the Art Institute. Due to the soot and dirt by the trains, the original windows were bricked in the 1930's.
Now renovated by Renzo Piano, the Alsdorf Galleries are light-filled, with views of the Millennium Park and Chicago Skyline. Piono opened 56-foot section of the original walls, increased the height of the ceiling and added new light wood flooring. The Hardings Arms and Armour collection, the formerly occupied the Gunsaulus Hall is now in European paintings and sculpture galleries.
I found some images I had taken before the opening of Alsdorf Galleries..
- Gunsaulus Hall, windowless walkway, with European arms and armours.. and
- display of Indian art..
Looking at these now, I admire the Alsford galleries even more..
Yes, Architecture Matters!!!
For more on.. [click on the link]..
The Art Institute of Chicago...