Ancient Chinese sculptures, some more than 2,000 years old, fill the University of Virginia Art Museum’s main gallery with a profound sense of serenity. “You can feel the karma in here,” professor of East Asian art Dorothy C. Wong told the Daily Progress. “As you walk through the exhibit and come upon the different pieces, they can make the knees buckle.”
Wong is the curator of “Treasures Rediscovered: Chinese Stone Sculpture from the Sackler Collections at Columbia University,” which will be on display at the museum through March 14. The exhibition includes 21 monumental sculptures that provide a window on the culture of the Han (206 B.C.–A.D. 220) through the Tang (A.D. 617–907) dynasties. The exhibition also reveals the spread of Chinese Buddhist culture along the famed Silk Road.
Museum director Bruce Boucher says the exhibit provides an opportunity for U.Va.’s newly renovated museum to also serve as a classroom. Wong is incorporating the exhibit into her course on Chinese Buddhist art, while the religious studies department is conducting language classes at the museum.