Cave Temples of Dunhuang

Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road

Exhibition Website

May 7 2016 - Sep 4 2016

The Mogao caves, located near the town of Dunhuang in the Gobi Desert of northwest China, comprise some 500 decorated Buddhist cave temples dating from the 4th to the 14th century.

Filled with exquisite wall paintings and sculptures, the caves bear witness to the intense religious, artistic, and cultural exchanges along the Silk Road, the trade routes linking East and West. Cave Temples of Dunhuang: Buddhist Art on China's Silk Road features numerous objects originally from the site—such as paintings and manuscripts that have rarely, if ever, traveled to the United States, as well as three spectacular full-size cave replicas.

The exhibition celebrates more than 25 years of collaboration between the Getty Conservation Institute and the Dunhuang Academy to preserve this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Exhibition overview from the Getty Museum website

Whether you go or not, a new expanded edition of Cave Temples of Mogao at Dunhuang: Art and History on the Silk Road has been released to coincide with the exhibition. Lavish color photographs of the caves and their art combines with the fascinating history of the Silk Road to create a vivid portrait of this remarkable site, with its miles of stunning wall paintings, more than two thousand statues, magnificent works on silk and paper, and thousands of ancient manuscripts, such as sutras, poems, and prayer sheets.

  • Asian
  • Medieval
  • Sacred
  • Chinese

Exhibition Venues & Dates