Turkish calligraphers were skillful at transforming words and phrases into the shapes of animals. This was done by elongating, wrapping, and rotating letters to create the contour (outline) as well as details of the animal. Favorite animal shapes include the lion, peacock, and stork. Students will write a descriptive sentence about an animal that they believe has virtuous qualities. They will create a zoomorphic pen and ink drawing composed of this sentence.
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An overview of the religious practices of the samurai.
The first record of tea drinking in Japan occurs early in the Heian period (794–1185) whenit was introduced to the Japanese aristocracy by scholar-monks returning from Tang dynasty China. Learn more.
As with art, literature, and philosophy, the Tang dynasty (618-906) nurtured a Golden Age of development and innovation in science and technology that culminated in the Song dynasty (960-1279). The expansive exchange of foreign goods and information during the Tang, together with the high value placed upon close observation and analysis that characterized the Song, set the stage for vigorous scientific innovations. Important advances were made in astronomy, agriculture, industry, medicine, and military technologies.
Students are introduced to the Ramayana (Story of Rama) and recall events by sequencing related art objects on a Story Hill. Then students make connections between artistic and literary depictions of character by comparing Vishnu and Ravana.
Rituals and traditions of the Chinese Lunar New Year.
When one thinks of Chinese painting one might think of hanging scrolls and handscrolls. Wall paintings were an early form of painting, preserved today in cave temples, temple buildings, and tombs. Written records describe paintings on palace walls and in humbler dwellings. One of the first advocates of landscape painting, Zong Bing, wrote in the 5th century about the joys of having landscape paintings on the walls of his house so he could imagine himself in the untrammeled world of mountains and streams, mists, trees, and rocks. Hanging scrolls of silk provided wall decoration that could be changed or removed. Handscrolls, primarily used for written documents, became vehicles for the illustrations of paragons of virtue or of supernatural spirits as well as panoramic landscapes, and bird and flower paintings.
Central Asian wine peddler, approx. 618–906. China, Henan province. Molded and sculpted earthenware figure with three-color glaze. The Avery Brundage Collection, B60P521.
Leta Bushyhead, Asian Art Museum Storyteller, tells a Chinese folktale inspired by objects in the museum's collection.