Traces of Words: Art and Calligraphy from Asia

Thursday May 11 – Present
Multiversity Galleries, Case 73 and Case 76
Free with museum admission

Asia has an enormous diversity of languages and writing systems. Writing, especially calligraphy, has been a revered art form, and has played an important social and political role in Asian traditions ranging from religious texts in Sanskrit to Islamic and Chinese calligraphy.

The Asian collection at MOA contains over 18,000 items, about 40 percent of the total holdings, and is the largest collection at the museum. There is a little known collection of Chinese, Japanese, and Persian calligraphy, as well as various manuscripts such as Southeast Asian palm leaf manuscripts, woodblocks for printing and objects with inscriptions. The items featured in Case 73 and Case 76 in the Multiversity Galleries are the highlights of this collection of approximately 250 items.

This mini exhibit is a part of the larger exhibit with the same title, which was on view in the Audain Gallery from May 11 to October 9, 2017.
Image Credits L to R:

Leaf from a Qur’an manuscript in Kufic script, Possibly Iraq, Iran, or Syria, 9th century, MOA Collection 2988/1
Incense burner, China, 19th century, MOA Collection, 2988/3 a-b
Yugami Hisao, Mikazuki三日月 (Crescent), 2015, MOA Collection 3186/4
Photos by Kyla Bailey

Curator: Fuyubi Nakamura

Exhibitions, Mini Exhibits