China, West meets East at the Metropolitan Museum of Art


The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is one of the largest museums in America, and amongst its collections are items from China spreading over several thousands of years.

This documentary, which was made as part of the Great Museums series, looks at this collection and uses the art works to delve deeper into both Chinese history and sensibility.

With the help of some of the curators and other specialists at the museum we get a tour of the museum, which serves as a quick introduction to important ideas in Chinese art as well.

China for centuries was the eastern end of the Silk Road, and not just trade, but culture traveled along the roads, and left a lasting influence of China and its art.

One of the major introductions through this path was Buddhism itself, of course, and we see how although the first Buddhist art works in China were very Indian in form, but soon they adopted Chinese characteristics.

I have personally always felt rather ambiguous about museums, and normally avoid them, as they have often acquired thier objects in questionable or even objectionable ways.

On the other hand they do also provide a window onto other cultures, which may be unknown otherwise, and in that sense can function as truly educational facilities.

note I start the video after the adverts at 4.00 mins 🙂


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to see a set of stills click on the date at the top of the embed below


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