Fleming Displays Asian Art

There has been extraordinary behind-the-scenes activity in the area of Asian art at the University of Vermont’s Fleming Museum during the past few years. The fruits of this activity can be enjoyed by all this spring as the Museum presents a selection of recent acquisitions and promised gifts of South Asian, Southeast Asian, Chinese, and Japanese sculpture, textiles, and decorative arts, all given to the Fleming since 2000.

Among the most exciting developments highlighted in this exhibition is a major gift of 27 objects from the renowned Doris Duke Southeast Asian Art Collection. The Fleming is one of 17 museums in the United States and Great Britain that have been given Thai, Cambodian, and Burmese sculptures and decorative arts by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

Dating from the 14th to the 20th century, the sculptures are primarily Buddhist in nature, and range in materials from stone and bronze to lacquered and gilt wood with inlaid glass.

Over the past three years, Dr. Richard Nalin, UVM class of 1963 and his brother, Dr. David Nalin, have donated to the Museum examples of Indian art from many different periods. These include a collection of Indus Valley terracotta vessels with geometric designs, dating from ca. 5000-3500 B.C.E.; Gandharan Buddhist sculptures from the 3rd century C.E.; and 19th and 20th-century Pakistani textiles. The selection of Buddhist sculptures is complemented by a Gandharan Buddha figure promised to the Fleming by J. Brooks Buxton, UVM class of 1956, and a member of the Museum’s Advisory Board.

A collection of carved wood and lacquered Japanese masks was donated to the Fleming Museum by William Pickens, UVM class of 1958. A number of these expressive masks, largely from Noh theater, will also be featured in the exhibition.

In response to the recent gifts of Asian art to the Fleming in Asian and in support of the University of Vermont’s strong Asian Studies Program, the Fleming Museum has named Dr. John Seyller, professor in the University of Vermont’s Department of Art and Art History, as adjunct curator of Asian art.

It is thanks to Professor Seyller, an internationally renowned scholar of Indian art, that the Fleming Museum was included in the distribution of the Doris Duke Southeast Asian Art Collection. Professor Seyller is curating this exhibition.

Support for this exhibition has been generously provided by the Walter Cerf Exhibitions Endowment Fund, the Freeman Foundation, and Alice and John Outwater.

We are grateful to the University of Vermont’s Asian Studies Program and the College of Arts and Sciences for support of public programming in conjunction with this exhibition. The exhibit runs from February 8 – June 27, 2004, in the East Gallery of the Fleming.

-Press Release

– Press Release