string(19) "edanmdm:fsg_F1921.1" Gathering of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas - National Museum of Asian Art

Gathering of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

Detail of a pattern
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At A Glance

On View
  • Period

  • Geography

    southern Xiangtangshan, Cave 2, Hebei province, China
  • Material

    Limestone with traces of pigment
  • Dimension

    H x W: 120.8 x 340 cm (47 9/16 x 133 7/8 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Provenance

    Before 1920
    Removed from Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan, Fengfeng, Handan Municipality, Hebei Province by unknown party [1]
    By 1920 to 1921
    Lai-Yuan & Company, New York, Pekin, Shanghai, and Paris acquired from an unknown source [2]
    From 1921
    Freer Gallery of Art purchased from Lai-Yuan & Co. in installments, the first of which was issued in May 1921 [3]
    [1] In the very early in the 20th century, the Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan suffered extensive damage and theft. The reliefs were removed from Cave 2 of the Southern group prior to 1920 when the Japanese team of Tokiwa and Sekino surveyed the site. See Shina Bukkyo Shiseki, Tokyo, 1927, vol. 3, pp. 53 ff., the two reliefs are not mentioned at all. J. Keith Wilson and Daisy Yiyou Wang outline when figures and fragments were removed from Xiangtangshan in “The Early-Twentieth-Century ‘Discovery’ of the Xiangtangshan Caves” in Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan (Smart Museum of Art. Chicago IL with Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington DC, 2010), 125-126.
    [2] Lai-Yuan & Company, New York had this object and another large relief carving (F1921.2) in their possession in October 1920, see: Letter from Charles D. Walcott, Secretary of Smithsonian to Colonel Frank J. Hecker of Detroit, February 15, 1921, copy in object file. On November 22, 1920, Lai-Yuan & Company offered these pieces to the nascent Freer Galley of Art when they sent a letter quoting prices, see letters unsigned (likely from Katherine N. Rhoades) to Y.Z. Li, November 24 and December 8, 1920, copies in file. Lai-Yuan and company describes these objects as “Two Huge Archaic Stone Slabs of Norther Wei Dynasty,” see object descriptions, copy in object file.
    [3] On March 21, 1921, Lai-Yuan & Company sent this object, F1921.2, and F1921.3 to the Freer Gallery of Art via railroad. The objects arrived on March 29, however, the two stone relief sculptures, F1921.1 & F1921.2, were damaged. Lai-Yuan & Company completed repairs on these objects in November 1922 (for entire exchange regarding damage and repair, see correspondence in object file).
    The Freer Gallery of Art paid for the objects in instalments, the first of which was issued in May 1921 and the final on January 10, 1922, see letter from C. T. Loo to Miss. K. N. Roades, May 4, 1921 and unsigned letter (likely from Dr. Lodge) to “Gentlemen,” Lai-Yuan & Company, January 10, 1922, copies in object file.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Promise of Paradise (October 14, 2017 - ongoing)
    Promise of Paradise: Early Chinese Buddhist Sculpture (December 1, 2012 to January 3, 2016)
    Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan (February 26, 2011 to January 6, 2013)
    Buddhist Art (May 9, 1993 to August 9, 2011)
    Chinese Art—Stone Sculpture (September 1, 1979 to March 14, 1982)
    Chinese Art (January 1, 1963 to March 6, 1981)
    Centennial Exhibition, Gallery 17 (November 17, 1955 to January 1, 1963)
    Stone Sculpture, Gallery 17, 1923 (May 2, 1923 to November 17, 1955)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Lai-Yuan & Company (ca. 1915-April 1921)
  • Origin

    southern Xiangtangshan, Cave 2, Hebei province, China
  • Credit Line

    Purchase — Charles Lang Freer Endowment
  • Type

  • On View

    Freer Gallery 17: Promise of Paradise
  • Restrictions and Rights

    CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)

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