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Masterpieces in Context

Reimagining the Collection Experience
With the reopening of our third-floor galleries, you will find nine of the most significant works in our collection presented in ways that amplify the stories they tell. Another six key artworks will receive similar treatment when the second-floor collection galleries are transformed in late 2019.

Curators have reimagined the installation and supporting materials for each of the museum’s designated masterpieces to give you deeper insight into these particular works and the museum’s collection as a whole, as well as into Asian history and culture.

Selected for their rarity, beauty, historical importance or cultural impact, these objects will serve as points of light that punctuate your visit with moments of repose and reflection. They also serve as case studies, giving you useful tools for interpreting other works in the collection. Many function as introductions to a particular gallery, revealing themes that you will encounter in the surrounding artworks.

Each Masterpiece in Context experience is as unique as the work highlighted, but all share some common elements. Spotlight colors and special lighting beckon, benches encourage lingering, tablets provide multimedia interpretive information and newly written panels and labels address the work in artistic, historical, religious or cultural contexts.

We believe that these new approaches will make your experience of our collection even more powerful than before. We also anticipate that Masterpieces in Context will help orient new visitors and provide meaningful encounters for those with only a short time to spend in our galleries.