VIRTUAL COLLECTION OF ASIAN MASTERPIECES

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National Museum in Warsaw
Warsaw, Poland
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Information

The National Museum collection of Far and Middle Eastern art existed from the outset and has developed together with the institution. Initially part of the general ethnographic department, it was divided in the 1930s between the Decorative Arts Collection and the Print Collection. After World War II, a separate Department of Middle and Far Eastern Art was created within the Decorative Art Gallery and finally an independent Department of Asian Art was established in 1971. It is now known as the Oriental Art Collection. With its approximately 8,000 art objects, acquired mostly as gifts and through purchases, it is the second largest collection in Poland after the National Museum in Cracow. It consists mainly of Chinese and Japanese pottery and woodcuts, and it also has a rich and varied set of paintings, sculptures in wood and stone, objects of bronze, lacquer ware, ivory, enamel, and textiles. The pre-war collection suffered considerably during the bombardment of the building in 1939. During the war many valuable pieces were lost and never recovered. The Department of Oriental Art Collection is divided into the following sections: Chinese Art Collection (the largest in Poland), Japanese Art Collection, Islamic Art Collection and Buddhist and Hindu Art Collection. The Chinese Art Collection groups have approximately 5,000 objects, mostly dating from the 17th to 19th c. Among them is a significant group of ceramics, also jade, stone and wood sculpture, textiles and lacquer ware. The metals include a large set of Qianlong period bronzes and cloisonné enamels, as well as painted enamels. Traditional painting is represented by over 200 scrolls, album leaves and albums. Some 800 New Year and other folk woodblock prints from across China form an interesting and valuable group. The Japanese Art Collection is one of the largest collections in Poland, containing more than 2000 objects. It includes paintings, sculptures, ukiyo-e and shin hanga prints, ceramics, cloisonné enamels, metal works, lacquer ware and ivory works from Edo, Meiji, Taisho and Showa periods. Of particular value are: tsuba sword guards, netsuke and okimono, lacquer ware, cloisonné enamels, imari porcelain and satsuma wares. Islamic art is represented by over 1000 objects: manuscripts and miniature paintings, textiles, pottery and glass, objects of metal, wood, leather and stone objects. The extensive pottery collection comprises a representative selection of Arabic, Persian and Turkish wares (8th to 17th c.). The Buddhist and Hindu Art Collection comprises around 300 objects, of which the most important are: bronze figurines of gods and deities, 18th-20th c. religious scroll-paintings (thang-ka), stone and wood sculpture, sacred Buddhist manuscripts from South, South-East and Inner Asia.

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Address
Al. Jerozolimskie 3, 00-495 Warszawa 
City
Warsaw
Country
Poland 
Website
http://www.mnw.art.pl
Contributor
Department of Oriental Art Collection 

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