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Rare Khmer Bronzes To Show in Washington

Smithsonian Sackler Gallery, located in Washington DC.
Smithsonian Sackler Gallery, located in Washington DC.

An art exhibition of Cambodian bronzes opens for the first time in Washington next month, featuring Khmer sculptures and ritual objects from late prehistory through the Angkorian period.

Thirty-six masterworks from the National Museum of Cambodia’s collection of some 7,000 bronzes will show at the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery under “Gods of Angkor: Bronzes from the National Museum of Cambodia.”

“This exhibition presents the stunning accomplishments of Khmer bronze casters,” Louise Allison Cort, the gallery’s curator of ceramics, said in a statement. “These bronzes are among the most exquisite expressions of Khmer ideals of religious imagery and ritual implements.”

The works include a rare and highly valued urn and bell, seven diverse bronze figures, ritual paraphernalia and Buddhist and Hindu sculpture.

The exhibition, a collaboration between the Freer and Sackler galleries and the National Museum of Cambodia, explores significant developments in bronze casting, as well as cultural and religious developments that coalesced during the Angkor period into a recognizable Khmer style.

The exhibition will show from May 15 through Jan. 23, 2011, in Washington and is scheduled to travel to the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles in February 2011.