The Palmer Museum of Art is dedicated to presenting the art of non-European cultures to its visitors. The collection includes art from Africa, China, India, Japan, Korea, Australia, Mexico, and Peru—in all, more than sixty nationalities or cultures are represented.
Japanese Woodblock prints
One outstanding aspect of the museum’s holdings of works on paper is its collection of Ukiyo-e prints—Japanese woodblock prints produced during the Edo period (1603-1867). The collection features examples by masters such as Suzuki Harunobu (c. 1725-1770), Kitagawa Utamaro (1753-1806), Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849), and Ando Hiroshige (1797-1858).
Exquisite jade sculptures and various objects of everyday use carved in nineteenth-century China are another significant portion of the Asian collection. Valued for its durability and sensuousness, jade was thought to embody the virtues of Confucianism. Stone sculptures from Hindu temples in India and a Buddhist temple built during the Khmer period in Thailand represent two of the major sculptural traditions of South and Southeast Asia.
The arts of sub-Sahara Africa are represented by wood sculptures of ancestral figures and deities, ritual masks, textiles, and the Mattil collection of cast copper alloy weights used to counterweigh gold dust during the height of the gold trade on the west coast of Africa.