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Image of a golden lacquered Buddha

Sacred Beauty: A Millennium of Religious Art, 600–1600

Dates: September 8, 2007–January 6, 2008

Sacred Beauty: A Millennium of Religious Art, 6001600 is presented in cooperation with the University of Tennessee’s Marco Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

The exhibition is one of the centerpieces of the Fall 2007 interdisciplinary celebration of the University’s Medieval and Renaissance Studies Semester.

The exhibition of artworks from five world religions—Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, and Judaism—will present beliefs, practices, and cultural traditions reflected by artists from the time of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. All these religions had carved out places for themselves by the seventh century CE, but no region became exclusively or completely the domain of any one creed. The millennium of the exhibit was marked by ebbs and flows of the five faiths, and by contact of the adherents of different faiths with each other. The works include statuary and objects of stone, bronze, silver, gold, ivory, and wood; illustrated scriptures and other written works; glass; and textiles. The diverse expressions of religious faith originated in Europe, Russia, Egypt, Turkey, Iran, India, Nepal, Tibet, and China. A mini-catalogue will accompany the exhibit, sponsored by Bank of America.

In assembling the objects, the museum consulted with UT faculty members in art, history, and religious studies. We are grateful to Amy Neff, James Fitzgerald, Rosalind Gwynne, Miriam Levering, Gilya Gerda Schmidt, Rachelle Scott, and Robert Bast, Director of the Marco Institute.

The museum thanks also the lenders to the exhibition: Asia Society, New York; Loyola University Museum of Art, Chicago; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Arthur M. Sackler Foundation, New York; Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Michael and Judy Steinhardt Judaica Collection, New York; the Textile Museum, Washington, DC; Zimmerman LP Collection, New York; and three private collections.

Sponsors of Sacred Beauty: A Millennium of Religious Art, 600?1600 are the Lucille S. Thompson Family Foundation, the Aletha and Clayton Brodine Museum Fund, Marco Institute of Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and the Leon Levy Foundation.

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