The Museum's galleries of Asian Art feature art and architecture from all parts of the continent--East, South, Southeast, West, and Central--and highlight the region’s diversity and richness. You may find paintings and sculptures from China, Japan, India, and Tibet; furniture and decorative arts (including major collections of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean ceramics); and a large and distinguished group of Persian and Turkish carpets.
The arts of China, Japan, and Korea join extensive holdings from India and the Himalayan regions
Rare architectural assemblages--including a majestic 17th-century reception hall
from the palace of Duke Zhao, a Japanese teahouse
by Ōgi Rodō, and an 18th-century scholar’s study
from Beijing--add immeasurably to the interpretive and evocative value of the collections (and are quite popular with visitors).
Radiating from a 16th-century Indian Pillared Hall
, the Indian and Himalayan galleries include sculpture from the medieval Hindu temples of northern and southern India, earlier Indian Buddhist images of the Gupta and Kushana periods, and metal ritual objects and sculptures from Tibet and Nepal. Changing installations in the galleries regularly display examples of vibrant "miniature" paintings from India as well as elaborate Tibetan and Nepalese hanging paintings.
Because of sensitivity to light and other conservation concerns, many of the objects on view in these galleries rotate periodically.
Beauty Adorned: Painting and Jewelry from Courtly India
Gallery 227, second floor
Exquisite gold, enamel, and silver pieces are paired with a selection of paintings to explore the use of jewelry in courtly life in seventeenth- through nineteenth-century India.
Goddess Triumphant: First Look at an Eighteenth-Century Sculpture from Nepal
Gallery 232, second floor
At the center of this gallery sits a new addition to the Museum’s collection: a monumental, multipart gilded bronze sculpture of the Hindu goddess Durga overcoming the Buffalo Demon of Ignorance. It was created in the eighteenth century in the Kathmandu Valley region of Nepal, where this form of the goddess is among the most worshiped of all deities.
Elegance of the Inner Quarter: Art and Craft for Korean Women
Baldeck Gallery 238, second floor
During the Joseon dynasty (1392–1910), Neo-Confucianism—an ethical and philosophical framework that encouraged a strong moral code and emphasized restraint, austerity, and simplicity in one’s behavior—dominated Korean society. A creative interpretation of ancient Confucian thought, Neo-Confucianism highly valued three core interpersonal relationships: the loyalty between subject and king; the respect a child holds for a parent; and the obedience shown by a wife to her husband. With gradual shifts over time, Joseon culture evolved into a patrilineal society in which men and women led very different lives.
Mountains and Rivers: Japanese Landscapes
Galleries 241 -243, second floor
Sansui, the Japanese word for landscape, literally means “mountain and water.” These two elements comprise the yin and yang of the natural world and are favored subjects of Japanese artists. Traditional Asian geomancy dictates that a house, whether belonging to a fisherman or to an emperor, should be built with a mountain for protection to the north and water to the south.
Chinese Snuff Bottles from the Collection
Gallery 236, second floor
The 137 snuff bottles on view in this gallery encompass many decorative designs, including floral, figural, and landscape motifs, auspicious symbols, and poetry. Made from glass, porcelain, gourds, seeds, semiprecious stones, and hard stones, these bottles represent the versatility and expertise of the artisans who produced them and show the richness of the Museum's holdings.
Reception Hall from a Nobleman's Palace
Gallery 226, second floor
The only interior of its type in an American museum, this reception hall recreates a majestic space where a high-ranking nobleman, seated on his raised lacquer couch, would receive visitors—who in turn would undoubtedly be most impressed by the ceiling.
Ceremonial Teahouse: Sunkaraku
Gallery 244, second floor
One of the Museum’s most popular settings is Sunkaraku, a classic Japanese teahouse and bamboo garden offering visitors a temporary refuge from the complexities of daily life. Japanese architect Ōgi Rodō built the teahouse about 1917, using elements from an 18th-century teahouse and natural materials to create a marvel of aesthetic pleasure.
Please note, many of the objects on view in these galleries rotate periodically.
Gallery 224, second floor
This evocative space, which now exists at the heart of the Museum’s rich collections of Indian art, is made up of elements acquired by a Philadelphia family traveling in India in the early years of this century.