Nomadic Art of the Eastern Eurasian Steppes: The Eugene V. Thaw and Other New York Collections

Overview

Four thousand years ago, a remarkable culture emerged in the Eastern Eurasian steppes north of the Great Wall of China, in what is now Inner Mongolia. Herding, hunting on horseback, and agriculture characterized the way of life for the pastoral nomads of this region, and the art they produced reflects the equestrian culture that evolved over the centuries. Lightweight and portable, the weapons, bronze and gold belt plaques and chariot fittings, and objects of personal adornment display skilled craftsmanship and ...

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Overview

Four thousand years ago, a remarkable culture emerged in the Eastern Eurasian steppes north of the Great Wall of China, in what is now Inner Mongolia. Herding, hunting on horseback, and agriculture characterized the way of life for the pastoral nomads of this region, and the art they produced reflects the equestrian culture that evolved over the centuries. Lightweight and portable, the weapons, bronze and gold belt plaques and chariot fittings, and objects of personal adornment display skilled craftsmanship and highly abstract designs, featuring animals, both wild and domesticated—tigers, bears, ibex, horses, camels—as well as raptors, dragons, and other mythical creatures.

Trade, intermarriage, and warfare between the nomadic peoples and their settled Chinese neighbors during the first millennium B.C. led to a complex interrelationship that contributed to the cultural development of both groups. This book examines the artistic exchange between them and chronicles the culture of the pastoral peoples by focusing on nearly two hundred artifacts from the distinguished collection of Eugene V. Thaw, with additional works selected from other private collections and from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

(This title was originally published in 2002/03.)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300194005
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 8.56 (w) x 11.03 (h) x 0.68 (d)

Meet the Author

Emma C. Bunker is research consultant at the Denver Art Museum. James C. Y. Watt is Brooke Russell Astor Chairman of the Department of Asian Art and Zhixin Sun is Associate Curator, Department of Asian Art, both at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Table of Contents

Director's Foreword
Acknowledgments
Collector's Foreword
Map: The World of the Eurasian Nomads
Map: North China, Mongolia, and Southern Siberia 2
Introduction 3
The Land and the People 6
Artifacts: Regional Styles and Production Methods 15
Catalogue 39
Horse Harness Fittings 40
Wheeled Transportation 56
Weapons, Helmets, and Tools 74
Belt Ornaments 94
Garment Plaques and Hooks 156
Personal Ornaments 170
Mirrors, Tools for Musical Instruments, and Ceremonial Paraphernalia 176
Vessels and Implements 192
The Legacy of Nomadic Art in China and Eastern Central Asia 198
Bibliography 210
Index 224
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