L&P dodged the snowstorms to get to Toronto this past weekend. Now safely back at home, 3 hours from Toronto in summer, but more like 5 hours in winter driving conditions, I'm going to show you my book haul from the gift shop in the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).
I was at the ROM to do some research for the blog, of course, but also to have a reunion with a couple of former students from Seoul. I showed them around, we had a coffee, and then I made a beeline for the book section in the gift shop. I think I showed great restraint by purchasing only TWO books:
If you're having difficulty reading the title of the lower book, let me help you. It's called Beyond Clouds and Waves. More on that soon.
Buddhist Art of Myanmar is a book that I've held in my hands on every previous visit to the ROM shop. Originally priced at $86.99 Canadian dollars, or about 65USD at today's exchange rate, I could never quite persuade myself to get out my wallet. On Saturday, however, I noticed that it had been marked down to $55.97. It was with a sense of glee that I snatched it off the shelf and slipped it under my arm.
Essentially, it's the illustrated catalogue of the eponymous exhibition that ran from February to May last year at the Asia Society in New York. However, it does also contain a dozen essays about the former Burma and its Buddhist art by experts in the field. The image of each piece in the exhibit is accompanied by a complete description that amounts to a mini-essay:
I look forward to reading it and gleaning useful information to supplement my photos from my Myanmar trip in 2012, about which I intend to write a series of blog posts in 2017.
The other book will be more immediately useful. As attentive regular readers will know, I've started a series of posts on the 6 Asian galleries at the ROM. One of the most interesting galleries is the Bishop White gallery, which features a pair of spectacular large-scale murals from a Yuan-era Daoist temple in China. I had to stop writing my intended post about the murals when I realized that I didn't know enough about them. This book, Beyond Clouds and Waves: Daoist Paintings in the Royal Ontario Museum, should help to remedy that deficiency:
It's beautifully and copiously illustrated. There's even a fold out section for the above-mentioned murals:
Better still, it has all the information I need to better inform you, dear readers. All the figures are helpfully identified:
I'll continue the Bishop White gallery sub-series on the blog after I've studied and digested Beyond Clouds and Waves. Look for the series to continue early in the New Year. This book was only $25 Canadian, but I also get 10% off as a ROM member, so I count it as a bargain.
Have you visited the ROM shop? Did you buy anything? Tell us about it in the comments below, on the Lotus & Persimmon Facebook page, or in the Lotus & Persimmon gallery on Instagram.