The Asian collection at the Harn Museum of Art is among the largest and finest in the southeastern United States. Comprised of more than 1,400 objects, the collection ranges in date from approximately 2500 B.C.E. to the present, and includes paintings, prints, sculpture, ceramics, bronzes, jades and lacquers from across Asia. The collection is organized into sub-collections by geography.
The Harn’s Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian collection is particularly strong, with a diverse group of Hindu and Buddhist religious sculptures, fine Indian miniature paintings and more than 100 Thai, Vietnamese and Cambodian trade ceramics from the 15th - 17th centuries. The collection also includes modern Indian paintings by Jamini Roy (1887 –1972) and Ram Kumar (b. 1924).
The Harn has a significant collection of Chinese art including ceramics from the Neolithic period to the end of the Imperial era in 1911, and a rich array of Chinese paintings, with works by renowned artists such as Shen Quan (1682–1760) and Sheng Maoye (1580–1640).
The collection also includes several complete series of Japanese woodblock prints by artists such as Utagawa Hiroshige (1797–1858) and Utagawa Kunisada (1786–1865), along with scroll paintings by Kano Korenobu (1753–1808) and Yokoi Kinkoku (1761–1832).
Japanese decorative arts of the Meiji Period (1868–1912) are also well represented by ceramics, bronzes, cloisonné enamels and lacquers.
The Harn’s Korean holdings are anchored by a group of Koryo celadon ceramics (918–1392) and Choson blue-and-white porcelains (1392–1910) donated by Gen. James A. Van Fleet, one of the most generous donors to the Asian collection.
An exceptionally rare gilt wood Bodhisattva from 17th century Korea.
Seated Woman in Sari, a water color by Jamini Roy (1887-1972), recognized one of the leaders of the modern art movement in India. With more than 40 works by Roy, the Harn’s collection of his work is among the largest outside of India.
A 10th century Indian sculpture, Shiva with his Consort Uma, made of cream sandstone.
A Meiji-period Japanese ceramic vase by the master Miyagawa Kozan (1842–1916), decorated with an unusual carved design of dragons amid waves.
An imperial-quality offering dish from Qing Dynasty China. This gilt bronze and cloisonné dish is a fine example of the rich metalworking tradition of the late 17th and early 18th centuries.
Monochromatic ceramics from the Song, Yuan and early Ming dynasties (10th–15th centuries).
A rare 11th or 12th century Buddhist stupa tower, which was originally in a temple courtyard.
History of the Collection
The Asian collection has been a core strength of the museum since its founding. Notable donors include Florida professor Roy C. Craven, who gave a number of important works in the 1960s and 70s, and General James A. Van Fleet, who contributed greatly to the Harn’s collection of Korean works.
In 2011, the museum will open the David A. Cofrin Asian Art Wing. The 26,000-square-foot addition on the northwest side of the museum near the corner of southwest 34th Street and Hull road will have three levels featuring 6,000 square feet of Asian art gallery space, an upper level for curatorial and museum activities, as well as art storage and conservation space for the Asian collections. An Asian garden will be accessible from the west side of the new wing. The commitment to fund the Asian art wing is one of many transformative gifts the Cofrin family has made to the University of Florida and the Harn Museum of Art.
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