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Objects of Instruction

From this October, The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, is displaying a fascinating array of artifacts as part of its exhibition ‘Objects of Instruction – Treasures of the School of Oriental and African Studies’.

Seated Buddha from Burma

The exhibition brings together a wealth of rarely seen material, including illuminated Islamic manuscripts, Chinese and Japanese paintings and prints, South East Asian Buddhist sculpture and modernist paintings from South Asia and Africa.

Anna Contadini, Curator of the exhibition, is delighted that SOAS finally has the opportunity to exhibit these collections:

‘SOAS is a unique institution which is exclusively dedicated to the study of Asia and Africa. It has been the beneficiary of many donations over the years, and this has helped create an expanding collection of art objects, rare books and manuscripts. With this exhibition, SOAS can at last demonstrate the richness of its artistic and archival holdings and welcome students, scholars and the general public to see these rare objects.’

Muraqqa from Persia

Funding for this exhibition, which runs from October to December, has come from The Foyle Foundation and The Arts and Humanities Research Council and, thanks to further funding from The Foyle Foundation, the exhibition will become a permanent display in the new Foyle Special Collections Gallery.

As Anna explains:

‘This exhibition is long overdue and we are delighted to be able to show the extent of the SOAS collection. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to see some very special pieces and learn more about European reactions to Asia and Africa, as well as finding out how the fascinating SOAS collections were amassed.’

There is an Educational Programme to accompany this exhibition.

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