About this project

This digital exhibition is the product of several years’ work by a multidisciplinary team of scholars from across the world.

The project has been funded by the Leon Levy Foundation, with additional support from the Thaw Charitable Trust and the Smithsonian Provost’s Scholarly Studies Awards program. Organized by the Freer|Sackler in Washington, DC, the exhibition has brought together scholars of Sogdian art and culture from the United States, Russia, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, and Uzbekistan. Alongside several workshops convening leading scholars from around the world (including a memorable initial workshop in Washington, DC, during the height of Hurricane Sandy in 2012), the exhibition has also drawn on the energy and ideas of students who took part in courses at the Bard Graduate Center and at XE, NYU’s Program in Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement.

Four musicians sit on a camel and play.

Photograph © National Museum of China.

This project has been curated by Thomas Wide (Smithsonian Institution), Judith A. Lerner (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU), and Kimon Keramidas (XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement, NYU). The exhibition team has comprised Sana Mirza (Freer|Sackler), Julie Bellemare (Bard Graduate Center), and Matthew Dischner (Independent Scholar). The initial idea for this project came from Julian Raby, Director Emeritus of the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

CHIPS designed the website. Dawn Carelli edited the text. Grace Jackson, Lalage Snow, and Hutomo Wicaksono provided and edited the videography.

Thanks to the following scholars for their contributions: Abigail Balbale (New York University), Alessandro Bianchi (Haverford College), Alexander Brey (Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts [CASVA], National Gallery of Art), Antonietta Catanzariti (Freer|Sackler),  Ingrid Furniss (Lafayette College), Betty Hensellek (Cornell University), Pavel B. Lurje (The State Hermitage Museum), Aleksandr Naymark (Hofstra University), Nicholas Sims-Williams (School of Oriental and African Studies [SOAS], University of London), Sören Stark (Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU), and Keith Wilson (Freer|Sackler). Thanks, also, to the following people for their involvement and support: Bi Bo 毕波 (Renmin University, Beijing), Kageyama Etsuko 影山 悦子 (Kansai University, Osaka), Zhao Feng 赵丰 (China National Silk Museum, Hangzhou), Frantz Grenet (Collège de France), Valerie Hansen (Yale University), Jangar Ilyasov (Institute of Art Studies, Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan), Ágnes Kelecsényi (Library of Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Irog Malkiel (The State Hermitage Museum), Alexander Nagel (State University of New York [SUNY]), Antonio Panaino (University of Bologna), Susan Whitfield, and Yoshida Yutaka 吉田 豊 (Kyoto University), and Larisa Zolotova (The State Hermitage Museum).

Thanks to Freer|Sackler staff, and in particular Marjan Adib, Jennifer Berry, Liz Cheng, Beth Dion, Massumeh Farhad, Cory Grace, Nancy Hacskaylo, Robert Harell, Richard Kurin, Meghan Masius, Courtney Mason, Nancy Micklewright, David Opkins, Sonja Potter, Tivona Revell, Joelle Seligson, Zeynep Simavi, Karel Tiefel, Alice Tracy, Hutomo Wicaksono, and Sarah Yarrito.

Silver lobed bowl with prancing lion at the center as well as vegetal forms

Purchase, Charles Lang Freer Endowment, Freer Gallery of Art, F1997.13.

Thanks to the following institutions for image permissions: The British Library, The British Museum, The State Hermitage Museum, the Moscow State Museum of Oriental Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the State Institute of Arts and Culture of Uzbekistan, the Shaanxi Provincial Institute of Archaeology, the Shaanxi History Museum, the National Museum of China, the Oriental Collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Institute of Art Studies Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan.

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