Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Afghan Treasure Surviving the Dark Ages

Art Daily: "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul at National Gallery of Art" (Washington)

Extraordinary artifacts uncovered in modern-day Afghanistan — once the heart of the Silk Road linking cultures from Asia to the Mediterranean — long thought stolen or destroyed during some 25 years of conflict until the dramatic announcement of their existence in 2003, begin their United States tour at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, May 25 through September 7, 2008.

- Caption: Unfired-clay sculpture (second century B.C.)
excavated at the site of Greek city of Aï Khanum -

The exhibition, co-organized by the National Geographic Society (recommended reading) and the National Gallery of Art, will travel to the Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, October 24, 2008 through January 25, 2009; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, February 22 through May 17, 2009; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, June 23 through September 20, 2009. After its tour through Paris, Turin, and Amsterdam, the show was reorganized for the United States and accompanied by a new catalogue and a video documentary produced by National Geographic and narrated by the celebrated author, Khaled Hosseini.

Revealing Afghanistan’s multicultural heritage are some 228 objects ranging in date from 2200 BC to the second century AD. Drawn from four archaeological sites, they belong to the National Museum of Afghanistan in Kabul and include fragmentary gold bowls with artistic links to Mesopotamia and Indus valley cultures (modern-day Pakistan) from the Bronze Age site of Tepe Fullol; bronze and stone sculptures and a gilded silver plaque from the former Greek colony at Aï Khanum (“Lady Moon”); bronzes, ivories, and painted glassware that had been imported from Roman Egypt, China, and India, and excavated from ancient storerooms discovered in the 1930s and 1940s in Begram; and more than 100 gold ornaments from the “Bactrian Hoard,” found in 1978 in Tillya Tepe, the site of six nomad graves, and revealing a synthesis of Greek, Roman, Persian, Indian, Chinese, and Siberian styles. (...) >>>

No comments: