Head of the Buddha

Detail of a pattern
Image 1 of 2

Terms of Use

Usage Conditions Apply

At A Glance

  • Period

    late 8th-early 9th century
  • Geography

    Java, Indonesia
  • Material

    Volcanic stone
  • Dimension

    H x W x D: 34.5 x 23.7 x 25 cm (13 9/16 x 9 5/16 x 9 13/16 in)
  • Accession Number



Object Details

  • Provenance

    From at least 1942 to 1946
    C. T. Loo & Co., New York, from at least 1942 [1]
    From 1946 to 1951
    Eduard von der Heydt (1882-1964), Ascona, Switzerland, purchased from C. T. Loo in April 1946 and lent to the Buffalo Museum of Science, Buffalo, New York [2]
    US Government vested Eduard von der Heydt's property under the provisions of "Trading with the Enemy Act" by vesting order, dated August 21, 1951 [3]
    From 1964 to 1973
    National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, from March 1964 [4]
    From 1973
    Freer Gallery of Art, transferred from National Museum of Natural History in 1973 [5]
    [1] C. T. Loo exhibited the sculpture in 1942, see C. T. Loo & Co., An Exhibition of the Sculpture of Greater India: A Fully Illustrated Catalogue, exh. cat. (New York: C. T. Loo & Co., 1942), cat. 50 (ill.). In a correspondence with Chauncey J. Hamlin, Loo states that the sculpture "was bought about 20 years ago in Paris from a dealer, Mr. Raton, who told me that this head - together with two bas-reliefs (one illustrated in our catalogue "Sculpture of Greater India [as no.] 51 and the other similar bas-relief...sold to Dr. [Denman Waldo] Ross and...now in the Boston Museum)...were owned by a Dutch resident in the Pyrénées (France) whose parents had those things brought our from Java in the middle of the 19th century; unfortunately Mr. Raton did not give me the name of the original owner," Loo to Hamlin, August 19, 1942, Chauncey J. Hamlin papers, Buffalo Museum of Science. Loo shipped the sculpture to Buffalo on August 19, 1942.
    [2] See "Catalogue of the Von der Heydt Loan to the Buffalo Museum of Science" where the sculpture is documented under an inventory card no. 4648.1, copy in object file.
    According to information on the inventory card, Eduard von der Heydt purchased the sculpture from C. T. Loo in April 1946.
    [3] See Vesting Order No. 18344, August 21, 1951, Office of Alien Property, Department of Justice.
    Eduard von der Heydt exhausted all the legal remedies against the forfeiture of his property provided to him by the Trading with the Enemy Act.
    [4] Attorney General, Robert Kennedy authorized transfer of the von der Heydt collection from Buffalo Museum of Science to the custody of the Smithsonian Institution in March 1964. The collection was transferred to the National Museum of Natural History.
    In 1966 US Congress legislated transferring the title of the von der Heydt collection to the Smithsonian Institution, see Public Law 89-503, 80 Stat. 287, July 18, 1966. The sculpture was accessioned under no. 448109, see "Smithsonian Office of Anthropology Accession Data," copy in object file.
    [5] The sculpture was among 13 objects in the von der Heydt collection transferred from National Museum of Natural History to the Freer Gallery of Art, see "Smithsonian Institution Intramural Transfer of Specimens" memorandum, dated January 29, 1973, copy in object file.
    The sculpture was accessioned to the Freer Gallery Study Collection under no. FSC-S-15 and subsequently transferred to the permanent collection in August 1978.
  • Collection

    Freer Gallery of Art Collection
  • Exhibition History

    Hindu and Buddhist Art (April 1, 1982 to July 18, 1983)
    Hindu and Buddhist Art (January 28, 1981 to September 24, 1981)
    Untitled Exhibition, South Corridor (March 6, 1981 to May 7, 1984)
    A Decade of Discovery: Selected Acquisitions 1970-1980 (November 9, 1979 to May 22, 1980)
  • Previous custodian or owner

    Baron Eduard von der Heydt (1882-1964)
    National Museum of Natural History, Department of Anthropology, Smithsonian Institution
  • Origin

    Java, Indonesia
  • Credit Line

    Transfer from the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
  • Type

  • Restrictions and Rights

    Usage Conditions Apply

    There are restrictions for re-using this media. For more information, visit the Smithsonian's Terms of Use page.

    The information presented on this website may be revised and updated at any time as ongoing research progresses or as otherwise warranted. Pending any such revisions and updates, information on this site may be incomplete or inaccurate or may contain typographical errors. Neither the Smithsonian nor its regents, officers, employees, or agents make any representations about the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or timeliness of the information on the site. Use this site and the information provided on it subject to your own judgment. The National Museum of Asian Art welcomes information that would augment or clarify the ownership history of objects in their collections.

Keep Exploring