The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of April 28, 2016

Buddhist Tabernacle, late 1100s

black lacquer over a wood core with hemp cloth covering, gold paint, cut gold leaf, ink, mineral pigments, and metalwork, Overall: h. 160.00 cm (62 15/16 inches); Painted surface: 100.50 x 39.00 cm (39 9/16 x 15 5/16 inches). John L. Severance Fund 1969.130

This tabernacle was created to house nearly 300 sutras, or religious scrolls. On the inside of the doors, fierce figures dressed in elaborate armor and decorated with gold and silver foil served as guardians for the scrolls. On the back wall, there are two stylized Sanskrit names: Shaka, the historical Buddha, on the left, and Amida, the Buddha of the Western Paradise, on the right. The whole structure is on a base of two lotuses, symbols of purity. One of a pair of known surviving tabernacles, these incredibly fine luxury objects might have been commissioned as a way of gaining religious merit during uncertain times.

Cleveland Museum of Art, 1970: Year in Review 1969.
Nara, Japan. Nara National Museum "The Past Century of Nara National Museum - From Preaching of Shakyamuni to Picture Scroll of Kusamakura" 4/16/97 - 6/1/97
Nara, Japan. Nara National Museum "An Historical Reunion: Daihannyakyo Buddhist Tabernacles from The Cleveland Museum of Art and the Nara National Museum" 4/29 - 5/21/00 (exhibition showed the newly restored tabernacle with the Nara National Museum's tabernacle before our tabernacle returned from restoration).

The Cleveland Museum of Art (06/28/2009 - 08/30/2009); "Streams and Mountains Without End: Asian Art and the Legacy of Sherman E. Lee at the Cleveland Museum of Art"

Main Asian Rotation (Gallery 237); April 23, 2013 -

Detail Views