Thursday December 9, 2010
Tags for: Asian Art Celebrated throughout 2011 at the Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Press Release

Asian Art Celebrated throughout 2011 at the Cleveland Museum of Art

exterior of the CMA building

Museum's renowned Asian collection and an East-West partnership will highlight cultural treasures in three exhibitions

CLEVELAND (Dec. 9, 2010) — The Cleveland Museum of Art has long been a preeminent collector and presenter of Asian art. In 2011, the museum celebrates this commitment throughout the year with exhibitions that span time, geography and cultures across Asia. The constellation of exhibitions, together titled Glimpses of Asia, begins with The Lure of Painted Poetry: Japanese and Korean Art, and continues with a focus exhibition of Indian Kalighat paintings. The year concludes with a presentation of Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965), the first retrospective of one of the most important Chinese artists of the last century in a collaboration between the Cleveland Museum of Art and Nanjing Museum in China. All Glimpses of Asia exhibitions are free of admission charge.

"We are pleased to organize and present this range of exhibitions that focus on the museum's own holdings of outstanding Asian artworks and give us the opportunity to collaborate with a new partner in Asia," said David Franklin, director of the museum. "The works that will be on view throughout the year encompass various periods and points of view in Asian art and will create a bridge for the visitor to experience these magnificent cultures."


The Lure of Painted Poetry: Japanese and Korean Art
On view March 27 to August 28, 2011
The Lure of Painted Poetry: Japanese and Korean Art is an in-depth comparison of the artistic achievements of Japan and Korea from the fourteenth to the twentieth centuries. Korean and Japanese artists were inspired by Chinese artistic expressions that represented liberation from a mundane life through "armchair reclusion" expressed in poetry and painting. The Lure of Painted Poetry is an examination and interpretation of these Chinese lyrical aesthetics both in the Korean Joseon period and in the Japanese Muromachi, Momoyama and Edo periods. The Lure of Painted Poetry explores concepts of spiritual freedom and inner utopia as expressed in poetry and painting through various art forms including calligraphy, painting, decorative arts and craft. The exhibition contains 80 objects from the museum's collection and some of the works have not been on view since the 1990s.


Indian Kalighat Paintings
On view May 1 to Sept. 18, 2011
Gleaned from a prized and relatively unknown group of objects in the museum's wide-ranging Asian collection, this focus exhibition will allow visitors an opportunity to view these rarely displayed Indian paintings, considered to be the beginning of modernism in Indian art. Originally created as souvenirs for nineteenth-century foreign tourists and regarded as a response to the sudden prosperity brought to Calcutta by the East India Company, the innovative and influential Kalighat paintings are now highly regarded elements of museum and private collections. Motifs explored in the artwork include religious themes, Western material influence and commentary regarding the changing social order. These highly stylized and brightly colored paintings also mock the newly affluent and depict contemporary newsworthy figures.


Chinese Art in an Age of Revolution: Fu Baoshi (1904-1965)
On view Oct. 16 to Jan. 8, 2012
This trailblazing international loan exhibition organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art features extraordinary works of art by one of the most important modern Chinese artists of the last century. As the first retrospective of Fu Baoshi in the Western Hemisphere, this exhibition offers a stunning selection of artwork from the Nanjing Museum that tells the story—though not the whole story—of modern Chinese art in a time of war and revolution. This exhibition situates the work of Fu Baoshi within the art-historical, social, political, and cultural contexts in which his art was created. It examines Fu's artistic career through an overview of his work dating from the 1920s to 1965, providing a unique insight into his use of tradition to present modern Chinese art as distinct from Western and international Socialist art. Landscapes and figure paintings showing great sensibility demonstrate his artistic excellence and profundity; political paintings manifesting state ideology and Mao's doctrines are included. This is the first collaboration between the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Nanjing Museum, one of the oldest and most comprehensive museums in China.


About the Cleveland Museum of Art's Asian Collection
The Asian collection comprises over four thousand works of art from India, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, Korea, and the Himalayas and is considered to be one of the premiere collections in the West. It includes excellent works of art, religious and secular alike, to represent the major artistic traditions of Asia, providing a panorama of Asian artistic achievements in all their splendor and diversity. The collection has been developed since the inception of the museum in 1913 and was greatly expanded and shaped by former director Sherman E. Lee during his tenure from 1953 to 1983. The collection continues to grow with ongoing acquisitions through purchases and gifts.


About the Cleveland Museum of Art
The Cleveland Museum of Art is renowned for the quality and breadth of its collection, which includes more than 40,000 objects and spans 6,000 years of achievement in the arts. Currently undergoing a multi-phase renovation and expansion project, it is a significant international forum for exhibitions, scholarship, performing arts and art education. Admission to the museum is free.

The Cleveland Museum of Art has a membership of more than 21,500 households and is supported by a broad range of individuals, foundations and businesses in Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. The museum is generously funded by Cuyahoga County residents through Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Additional support comes from the Ohio Arts Council, which helps fund the museum with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans. For more information about the museum, its holdings, programs and events, call 888-CMA-0033 or visit

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261