November 17, 2001 - April 21, 2002

This exhibition, presented at the Asia Society in the newly renovated Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Gallery, commemorates the gift of the collection to the Society in 1978. The collection itself was the impetus for building the new headquarters, with gallery space, at 725 Park Avenue in 1981. The collection very much reflects the personal tastes of the Rockefellers. It is by no means a survey of Asian art, but is a carefully selected group of objects of uniformly high quality, gathered together over a quarter of a century and giving evidence of a deep appreciation and understanding of the peoples and cultures of Asia.

With its concentration of masterpieces of traditional Asian art, the Rockefeller Collection is the subject of much scholarly interest worldwide. The collection was published by the Asia Society 1994 in Treasures of Asian Art. Aspects of the collection have been published in countless journals and catalogues and shown in innumerable exhibitions, many of them presented at the Asia Society. Each publication and exhibition to date has presented the collection with scholarly art historical commentary.

For this exhibition, artists from a wide range of disciplines have selected the objects to be included and have written the accompanying commentaries. Some of these texts are scholarly, some poetic, some personal, and some all three. This presentation at allows visitors to see the exhibition organized by individual artistís choices and also by individual object and the artists who chose it.


The artists who so graciously accepted our invitation to participate in The Creative Eye have done so for a number of reasons. Many of them have been friends of the Asia Society over the years: they may have been members of a symposium or panel, been commissioned to create a new performance piece, had works in an exhibition, done a book reading, lectured, or performed. Many have been influenced in their lives and work by Asian cultures and religions. All have a true affinity for Asian art.

The Creative Eye and related programs are made possible by the AT&T Foundation and the Metlife Foundation. Major support for the Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller 3rd Collection is also provided by the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund.

Additional support for the Asia Societyís Cultural Programs is provided by the Friends of Asian Arts, Wallace-Readerís Digest Funds, The Starr Foundation, The Armand G. Erpf Fund, The Arthur Ross Foundation, the Harold J. and Ruth Newman Philanthropic Fund, and the New York State Council on the Arts.

© 2001 The Asia Society