Featured Topic: Buddhism

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Visions of Enlightenment: Arts of Buddhism
Pacific Asia Museum
An excellent site for students, with many additional resources for teachers. Text essays with images on the following four topics: 1) The Perfected One: The Buddha; 2) Compassionate Beings: Bodhisattvas, Deities, Guardians, Holy Men; 3) Buddhist Places; and 4) Signs, Symbols, Ritual Objects. Also features an extensive glossary of Buddhist-related terms and an excellent interactive map and timeline outlining the life of the Buddha and the spread of Buddhism. Can be viewed in Flash or HTML.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.pacificasiamuseum.org/buddhism/index.htm
The Art of Asia: Buddhism
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Provides an excellent short history of Buddhism from India to Japan illustrated with art from the MIA's collection. The four main topics are: 1) Origins of Buddhism; 2) Who's Who in Heaven; 3) Guide to Buddhist Sects; and 4) Guide to the Yamantaka Mandala, which includes a short video documentary of a mandala being created and consecrated. There is also a short video on Japanese Buddhism; eight featured objects, each accompanied by an interview with an MIA curator explaining the meaning of the work; and a glossary.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/buddhism/
Victoria and Albert Museum
A collection of special features about Buddhism. Includes 6 main topics, each with extensive text and several related images: 1) Buddhism & the Life of the Buddha; 2) Buddhist Cave Temple Sculpture; 3) Buddhist Community Views on Objects in the Collection; 4) Iconography of the Buddha; 5) The Radiant Buddha; 6) The Wheel of Rebirth. Plus a special teacher's resource for Buddhism (Buddhism: Art and Design and Religious Education) and a bibliography.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.vam.ac.uk/collections/asia/asia_features/buddhism/index.html
The Art of Buddhism: A Teacher's Guide
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
An illustrated 108-page teacher's guide in .pdf format, in three parts. Go to middle of HTML page and select Part I, Part II, and Part III to download the guide. Includes five main chapters: 1) Overview of Buddhism; 2) Birth of Buddhism in India; 3) Buddhism in China: A Process of Transformation; 4) Japanese Buddhism: Selective Adaptation; 5) Buddhism Today. Buddhist art from India, Tibet, China, and Japan is used to highlight points throughout the text. Also included are a vocabulary list, four lesson plans, and an extensive list of resources about Buddhsim.

Go to Museum Resource: https://www.asia.si.edu/explore/teacherResources/ArtofBuddhism1.pdf
The Art of Buddhism: Gallery Guide
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
An illustrated online guide that "briefly introduces a few key points about Buddhism in India, Tibet, China, and Japan and presents examples of the majestic holdings of Buddhist art in the Freer and Sackler galleries."

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/online/buddhism/
Life of the Buddha
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
A brief overview of the life of the historical Buddha. With links interspersed throughout the text to 20 artworks from the museum’s collection that illustrate various aspects of the historical Buddha’s life story.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/buda/hd_buda.htm
Asian Odyssey Lesson Plans: Buddhism
The Cleveland Museum of Art
16 lesson plans related to Buddhism. Lesson plans are in .pdf format, and all use images from the Cleveland Museum's collection of Asian art.

Go to Museum Resource:
Buddhist Art and the Trade Routes
Asia Society
An extensive site, covering three main topics: 1) Trade Routes; 2) Buddhism and its Imagery; and 3) India: Origins of Buddhist Art. Also discusses the Buddhist art of specific regions -- Korea/Japan; China/Mongolia; Himalayas; Southeast Asia; and Sri Lanka. With maps, images, a glossary of terms, and bibliography.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.asiasocietymuseum.org/buddhist_trade/index.html
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