Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Asian Art Museum: Revisiting the colleciton

 Ritual vessel (zun or gui) in the shape of a rhinoceros, probably late 1100s–1050 BCE. China; reportedly Shouchang, Shandong province. Shang dynasty, late phase (1300–1050 BCE). Bronze. The Avery Brundage Collection, B60B1+.

With three floors full of stunningly beautiful and historically important artworks, and an exciting show on the ground floor, it's easy to overlook the smaller pieces. I am particularly fond of the netsuke but this piece also caught my eye. It's featured on the website in this month's Asian museum membership drive, Alas, you don't get a reproduction as a membership gift, although that's not a bad idea, as the small size and engaging expression remind me of the Met's very famous and very popular blue hippo which has been featured in several different reproductions, from small ceramic figures, ties and even a coloring book.

1 comment:

Zoomie said...

This rhino is one of my most favorite pieces in their extensive collection. And, you're right, it reminds me a lot of the hippo at the Met.