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Celebrated Asian masterworks to be ON view at the Kimbell in June

The Kimbell Art Museum presents Buddha, Shiva, Lotus, Dragon: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society, on view June 27 through Sept. 5, 2021.

Co-organized by the American Federation of Arts and Asia Society Museum, this exhibition showcases the extraordinary range of sculptures, bronzes, ceramics and metalwork that John D. Rockefeller 3rd (1906–1978) and his wife, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller (1909–1992), assembled between the 1940s and the 1970s.

With highlights including spectacular Indian Chola bronzes, impressive Southeast Asian sculptures and exquisite East Asian ceramics, the exhibition reveals great achievements in Asian art spanning more than two millennia, the Kimbell said in the announcement.

Comprised of masterpieces drawn from Asia Society’s permanent collection, the presentation illuminates social and artistic histories from across Asia and underscores the visual arts’ capacity to encourage cross-cultural dialogue.

“We are thrilled to welcome this extraordinary collection to Fort Worth,” said Eric M. Lee, director of the Kimbell Art Museum. “The breadth and diversity of works representing many cultures across Asia are a testament to the Rockefellers’ vision of promoting cross-cultural understanding and respect – a charge that remains important and relevant today.”

This exhibition also represents a special opportunity for museum visitors to experience the unparalleled quality of the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection outside its home at Asia Society Museum in New York City.

In addition to investigating themes of Buddhist sculpture, Hindu sculpture and East Asian ceramics and metalwork, the show examines the Rockefellers’ connoisseurship as well as their collecting and exhibition practices in an age when political and economic circumstances shaped the reception and availability of Asian artworks in the United States.

Buddha, Shiva, Lotus, Dragon: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society is the fifth exhibition of Asian art at the Kimbell Art Museum in the last 20 years, following the recent exhibitions From the Lands of Asia: The Sam and Myrna Myers Collection (2018) and Samurai: Armor from the Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Collection (2014).

“Every piece in the exhibition is an absolute jewel,” said Jennifer Casler Price, curator of Asian, African and Ancient American art at the Kimbell Art Museum. “This show is a wonderful opportunity to explore a concentrated and superb selection of outstanding artworks from one of the greatest collections in the world.

“Within the range of themes, cultures, periods and styles that are represented, there is something of wonder and discovery for everyone – whether you’re familiar with Asian art or are seeing these fascinating and remarkable works for the first time,” Casler Price said.

When John D. Rockefeller 3rd and his wife, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, began collecting Asian art in the years after World War II, they chose to prioritize classical masterpieces that represented the great technical skill and creative breadth of Asian artistic practice, The Kimbell said in a news release.

They selected objects from across the continent – Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tibet and Vietnam – ranging from everyday food wares to imperial dining vessels and from ceremonial Buddhist statuary to private devotional Hindu sculptures.

This exhibition is co-organized by the American Federation of Arts and Asia Society Museum and supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Promotional support is provided by American Airlines, NBC 5 and PaperCity.

Buddha, Shiva, Lotus, Dragon: The Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection at Asia Society June 27–Sep. 5, 2021 Admission is $18 for adults, $16 for seniors and students, $14 for ages 6–11, and free for children under 6. Admission is half-price all day on Tuesdays and after 5 p.m. on Fridays.

Tickets are $3 for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients and all family members present with a valid SNAP Card. Additional discounts do not apply. Reduced admission tickets are available with valid ID exclusively at the museum box office.

Tickets are available at the museum box office and on the museum’s website, www.kimbellart.org

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Paul Harral
Paul is a lifelong journalist with experience in wire service, newspaper, magazine, local and network television and digital media. He was vice president and editor of the editorial page of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and editor of Fort Worth, Texas magazine before joining the Business Press. What he likes best is writing about people in detail and introducing them to others in the community. Specific areas of passion are homelessness, human trafficking, health care and aerospace.

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