From at least 1959-?
Anonymous private collector, method of acquisition unknown 
Possibly Nasli Heeramaneck (1902-1971) and Alice N. (Arvine) Heeramaneck (1910-1993), method of acquisition unknown 
John B. Bunker (1926-2005) and Emma (Cadwalader) Bunker (1930-2021), method of acquisition unknown 
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of John B. Bunker and Emma C. Bunker 
 This sculpture was exhibited in 1961 as part of "Khmer Sculpture" at the Asia House Gallery in New York between November 1961 and January 1962. See Ad Reinhardt, "Khmer Sculpture" [exhibition catalogue] (New York, NY: Asia House Gallery, 1961), 38-39. The object was listed as an "Anonymous Loan."
 According to the donor Emma C. Bunker, the sculpture was displayed in the New York City home of Nasli and Alice N. Heeramaneck. See letter from Emma C. Bunker to Milo Beach, September 22, 1995, copy in object file. In the letter, Mrs. Bunker does not provide a specific date for when she saw this sculpture at the Heeramaneck home but mentions "it sat [there] for years." Nasli Heeramaneck was a dealer of Asian and Pre-Columbian art who began his career in Paris during the 1920s and relocated to New York City in the 1930s. Many objects from the Heeramaneck collection were either purchased or donated to American museums.
 See note 4. Emma C. Bunker was an art historian, specializing in the art of China, and Cambodia.
 John B. Bunker and Emma C. Bunker donated the sculpture to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in 1995. See Deed of Gift, copy in object file.
Research Completed April 26, 2022
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
John B. Bunker and Emma C. Bunker
Nasli and Alice Heeramaneck
The object is a fragment of a sculpture entailing the head and parts of a torso and background of a Buddha figure. Most of the original surface of the torso has broken away and the top and lower right side of the Naga depiction are missing also. The face of the figure, the headdress, and the back of the Naga are carved surfaces which, though weathered, bear no major losses (an exception might be a loss to the forehead of the figure).
The stone has a deep green color and appears to be a sandstone. Small traces of what appears to be ground or pigment are seen in some recessed areas. The sculpture has an added dowel which fits in a socket in a black stone base.
Nagas are potent, auspicious symbols throughout South and Southeast Asia. The image of the Buddha seated on a coiled serpent gained traction in Cambodia, where nagas represent the bridge between the earthy and transcendent realms. Here, the Buddha aligns his spine with the serpent's upright body, his head sheltered beneath the multiheaded cobra hood.
- Published References
- Ad Reinhardt. Khmer Sculpture. Exh. cat. New York. p. 38.
- Collection Area(s)
- South Asian and Himalayan Art
- SI Usage Statement
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CC0 - Creative Commons (CC0 1.0)
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