The Museum’s collections of the Arts of Asia were established in 1909 with the very founding of the Museum. Currently, twenty permanent galleries display over six hundred Asian works of art—only two percent of the 30,000 objects that comprise the Asian collections.
The most distinctive collection of Tibetan art in the Western Hemisphere is on view in eight permanent galleries. The centerpiece of which is a Buddhist Altar consecrated in 1990 by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.
Take the virtual tour of the Tibetan Buddhist Altar.
The Museum's collection of Tibetan art numbers over 5,000 objects. Beginning in 1911 (and continuing until the 1940s) medical missionaries transferred remarkable items from along the Sino-Tibetan border to the Museum. Paintings, sculptures, ritual objects, fine textiles, documentary photographs and decorative arts are featured in the galleries through such themes as the Tibet Information Zone—an interactive, educational resource for individuals and families on Tibetan life and culture—as well as the Chapel of the Masters; Chapel of Fierce Protectors; Pure Lands and Paradises and three galleries devoted to the arts of Tibetan secular life.
The wide-ranging Chinese collection numbers over 8,000 objects and encompasses particular strengths in ceramics, textiles, enamels, lacquer wares and bronzes especially dating to the Qing Dynasty. Different aspects of the Chinese collections are displayed in three permanent galleries as well as in special exhibitions.
View selected works currently on exhibit in the Chinese Collection Gallery
Newark Museum General Information and Collections Chinese Translation (PDF)
Four permanent galleries are dedicated to the continual display of Japanese art. One of the major Japanese collections in the eastern United States, this collection was formed around a core of over 2,000 objects purchased to found the Museum in 1909. Now numbering around 7,000 objects, the collection includes lacquer, netsuke, ukiyo-e prints, textiles, ceramics, decorative arts, paintings and sculptures dating from the Heian to Heisei Periods (794 to present day) with especial concentrations in art from the Edo, Meiji and Showa Periods (1615-1989).
View selected works currently on exhibit in the Japanese Collection Gallery
The first Korean objects entered the Museum’s collection with its’ founding in 1909. Throughout each decade significant acquisitions have enhanced the collection. Ranging in date from the Goryeo Dynasty (37 BC – 668 AD) to 2006, ceramics, costumes and textiles as well as an emphasis on Joseon Period (1392-1910) Buddhist, Neo-Confucian, literati and folk paintings are highlights of the Museum’s holdings of 400 objects. Selected works are on permanent display in two galleries.
View selected works currently on exhibit in the Korean Collection Gallery
Newark Museum General Information and Collections Korean Translation (PDF)
Approximately 3,500 objects encompass the collection for South and Southeast Asian art on view in four permanent galleries. Monumental and small stone sculptures as well as devotional metal works portray deities of the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist traditions from India, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia and Indonesia. Eighteenth century works from Rajasthan are the highlights of the painting collection while Bengali decorative arts and Pala Period (750-1174) stone and metal sculptures are another forte. Philippine materials form the largest portion of the Southeast Asian holdings but works in all media from all nations of peninsular and insular Southeast Asia are found within the collections.
View selected works currently on exhibit in the South and Southeast Asian Collection Gallery
Mostly acquired in 1924, the Museum’s Oceania collection numbers around 300 objects. Representing the diverse cultures of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia the largest group of items hails from Papua New Guinea closely followed by works from the Solomon Islands. Selected objects from Oceania are on permanent exhibition.
Images top to bottom:
Tibetan Buddhist Altar (detail), Consecrated by His Holiness 14th Dalai Lama, September 23, 1990
Large Jar, Lushan county, Henan province, China, Eighth - Ninth centuries, Glazed stoneware, Gift of Herman A.E. Jaehne and Paul C. Jaehne, 1941 41.2107
Sake Container, Signed: Shokodo, Japan, Nineteenth century, Silver, jade, silk, The Joseph S. Isidor Collection, 1941 41.1380A,B
Funerary Figures, Korea, Nineteenth century, Wood and colors, Purchase 1994 Mathilde Oestrich Bequest Fund 94.42A-E
Ganesha, Central India, Eighth - Tenth centuries, Sandstone, Gift of Alice A.N. Heeeramaneck, 1985 85.257
Bust, New Georgia, Solomon Islands, Nineteenth century, Wood, pigments, mother-of-pearl, hair, Purchase 1924 24.749
All works shown here are from the Collection of Newark Museum.