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Art from India, Nepal and Tibet: The John and Berthe Ford Collection

Art from India, Nepal and Tibet: The John and Berthe Ford Collection (Hardback)

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The collection of John and Berthe Ford represents one of the most important private holdings of Indian and Himalayan art in the world. Certain objects have been widely exhibited, such as the "Green Tara" (a female Buddhist goddess), a painting executed in India around 1100 for a Tibetan patron and recognized both as a masterpiece and as a cornerstone for the study of Tibetan painting. Others have never been publicly shown. The exhibition and the accompanying publication bring together works from both India and the Himalayas, demonstrating the range and depth of the Ford collection, providing an extraordinary overview of 2,000 years of history, and illustrating enduring themes in the art of Southern Asia with outstanding works of art. Chronologically and geographically, the catalogue of 200 objects is arranged in four sections. First, temple sculptures (30 items), primarily in stone, and chiefly Indian, dating from the 3rd century BC to the 7th century AD. Second, metal objects, (67 items), from both India and the Himalayas (Nepal and Tibet). Third, Himalayan paintings (43 items), nearly all on cloth, and dating from the 11th to the 19th century.

The final section consists of Indian miniature painting (on paper) of the 17th to the 19th centuries (60 works). With few exceptions, the objects are either Hindu or Buddhist. The catalgoue is accompanied by introductory essays: "The Fords and their Collection" by Pratapaditya Pal; "Stone, Metal, Cloth, Paper: the Role of Materials in Southern Asian Art" by Hiram W. Woodward, Jr.; and "On Desire and Devotion", by Pratapaditya Pal. The book also includes a prologue by John and Berthe Ford.

Pratapaditya Pal was curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art 1970-1995. He is a key figure in the study of South Asian and Himalayan art, and has written numerous works and exhibition catalogues.

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