San Francisco

“Asian Art”

M. H. de Young Memorial Museum

The 40 pieces of Oriental art from the collection of members of the Society for Asian Art came down to make room for installation of a photographic exhibition discussed elsewhere in this issue. A small, choice selection of paintings, sculptures, ritual vessels, and Haniwa figures, covering periods from the third century B.C. to the 19th century A.D., it was the first of a series planned to present selections from members’ collections, and fortunately for reviewers, subsequent shows will be devoted to more specific themes.

Almost lost in this exhibition of more exotic items were two wonderfully expressive wooden figures from the Ch’ang-Sha Hunan Proo, belonging to Mr. and Mrs. Otto J. Maenchen. From the third century B.C., late Chou-Han dynasty, they were strangely modern in concept—if they had ever had any detail or color it had been worn away until only the ancient wood remained, grained by centuries of handling.

Elizabeth M. Polley