Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Hidden Treasures of Afghanistan

I saw an advertisement for this exhibit at the Asian Museum of Art in San Francisco entitled "Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul" and it is leaving this upcoming weekend. So, last Saturday, William and I as well as most of the bay area went to the exhibit. It was super packed- so much so that the people at the gift shop said that this should have been the crowds for the last weekend. Despite the crowds, the exhibit was AMAZING. I am so glad that I got the audio tour- it helped me understand more of the history of this country since I really didn't know much about it before hand. Since it was on the Silk Road, their art became a blend of all of the different cultures- Greece, India, and China. These literally were hidden treasures- some of the curators of the national museum hid the artifacts in a bank vault so they were preserved from the Taliban and other raids. I was most impressed by the intricate gold pieces. They found a burial site with 6 different individuals completely covered in gold jewelry. The most incredible piece was this six sided golden crown that actually could be disassembled into a few pieces. When the archeologist found this piece, he knew it was a treasure and locked it in a room and when he went back later, he couldn't find it. But it turns out his assistant had just disassembled it- I can't even imagine his relief. The exhibit is traveling next to Houston and the the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC so try to make it.

The rest of the museum is quite vast- we spent nearly two hours going through it and only barely able to glance through everything. They had amazing Japanese baskets, Samurai suits, Chinese statues, as well as what all of the Chinese art symbols mean. Now I just need to make it over to that continent to see its "natural habitat" . . .

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