Sunday, December 9, 2012

Asian Art Museum --- Day 338

Walk: Opera Plaza Cinema (The Flat), Asian Art Museum
Distance: 4.5 miles

Took two tours at the Asian Art Museum today and told one docent that I thought it would be difficult to be a docent at this museum because there would be a lot of Asians who would know much more about everything you were presenting.  He surprised me by saying, "Not at all; people are people.  Unless they develop a deep curiosity about a topic and pursue it, they mostly go about their daily lives.  Asians on my tours are generally just as uninformed/curious to know about Asian art and all the things it touches on (History, Religion, Politics, Technology, etc) as everyone else."

No one else was standing at the Docent Tour sign so I was lucky to have a private tour.  And, generously he made it 90 minutes instead of the prescribed 30 during which he did a marvelous job making the extremely noteworthy collection very accessible to my 'Western' mind. Here's just one example:

One of the curators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (whose name my 'private guide' couldn't quite retrieve - not Hoving) deemed these two sculptural figures (about 3.5 feet high I'd estimate) "the most beautiful sculptures in the world."  In the world, ever, pronounced by an expert extraordinaire  -  That
is a huge pause for thought.  At first viewing I would say they do have an aura about them of exquisitely/flawlessly (somehow) serene beauty. 

The Hindu deities Shiva and Parvati, 1000–1100. Cambodia; former kingdom of Angkor. Metamorphosed volcanic rock. The Avery Brundage Collection, B66S2 and B66S3.

And I feel I have to travel from San Francisco because....???

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