Skip to Main Content

Indian and Southeast Asian Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art’s Indian and Southeast Asian collection is rated as one of the leading collections of its kind, both nationally and internationally. The Indian and Southeast Asian art collection comprises three broad areas: the Indian subcontinent, the Himalayas, and Southeast Asia. The collection covers the period of artistic activity from the protohistoric era of around 3,000 BCE until the 20th century. It consists primarily of sculpture (in stone, metal, wood, terra-cotta, and ivory), paintings (works on paper as well as devotional paintings on cloth), manuscripts, costumes, textiles, arms and armor, and decorative art including jewelry, enamels, jade, and metalwork. It is a well-balanced collection, both in its scope and breadth; the focus, however, is on the high points of artistic production during the early and medieval periods from the 100s BCE to the 1700s CE. The strength of the collection lies more in its quality than its quantity.

Curator