Met to offer first look for the West at ancient Burmese Buddhist sculpture, other early Southeast Asian works

Buddha in meditation, Thailand, late 6th - early 7th CE. Image via

Buddha in meditation, Thailand, late 6th – early 7th CE

Repressive politics has a way of concealing art. Such was the case in Myanmar, ruled under a military dictatorship for decades until a more lenient civilian system emerged in 2010. One fruit of this opening is the inclusion of ancient Buddhist sculpture never seen outside Myanmar in a major exhibition that opens April 14 at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. “Lost Kingdoms: Hindu-Buddhist Sculpture of Early Southeast Asia, 5th to 8th Century” will feature 160 works in total — many on loan from the source countries, not just those in Western collections — showing the profound influence of Indic culture on the early kingdoms of Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka. You can see images of all the objects by visiting the Met’s “Lost Kingdoms” exhibition site. has also provided some narrated preview film, which you can see at this link. Image via