Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds
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The companion catalog to an internationally traveling exhibition, Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds documents one of the most important archaeological revelations of the twentieth century. Not only was the Belitung wreck the oldest Arab vessel discovered in Asian waters, but it also contained the largest group of Tang dynasty artifacts ever found. The archaeological recovery of both ship and cargo has allowed for a radical reappraisal of the Maritime Silk Route to China, answering questions on the nature of Asian sea trade with far greater certainty than was possible before.
Through more than 400 gorgeous photographs and essays by international experts, Shipwrecked tells two stories: of the ship and the men who sailed it, and of the cargo, its production and markets. The vast capacity and technical sophistication of China’s kilns are reflected in the number and variety of the ceramic goods, which simultaneously cast light on contemporary West Asian taste. Meanwhile, the glamour of the silver and gold objects speak of diplomatic ties and tribute, although their ultimate destination remains a mystery. 328-page paperback book with 400 color illustrations.
As Smithsonian museums, the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery hold in trust the nation’s extraordinary collections of Asian art and of American art of the late nineteenth-century aesthetic movement. Our mission is to encourage enjoyment and understanding of the arts of Asia and the cultures that produced them. We use works of art to inspire study and provoke thought.
Every Smithsonian purchase will arrive with a museum provenance card explaining how it is adapted from or inspired by an object or objects in our collection.
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