Paths to Perfection

GBP £15.95



ISBN: 978-1-907804-64-9

240 pages

210 x 152 mm (5 ⅞ x 8 ¼ in)

120 colour

In association with the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

October 2017


An intriguing look at artistic responses to one of the world’s great religions

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Paths to Perfection: Buddhist Art at the Freer|Sackler introduces readers to Buddhist art through the celebrated collections of the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art in Washington, DC. Written for a general audience, the guidebook shares Buddhist art and its history across cultures, from the origins of Buddhism in India to its spread eastward to China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

More than a hundred objects from the renowned Freer|Sackler collections follow, each with a full-colour image and insightful description written by a museum curator or scholarly fellow. Entries are divided by type into five sections: buddhas, bodhisattvas, mandalas and ritual objects, teachers and teachings, and attendants and protectors. A map and glossary help familiarise readers with significant Buddhist sites and terms.

Author biographies

Debra Diamond is the curator of South and Southeast Asian art at the Freer|Sackler Museums

Table of Contents

  1. Foreword: Robert Y.C. Ho
  2. Foreword: Julian Raby
  3. Note to the Reader
  4. Introduction: Robert DeCaroli
  5. Map
  6. Buddhas
  7. Bodhisattvas
  8. Mandalas and Ritual Objects
  9. Teachers and Teachings
  10. Attendants and Protectors
  11. About the Authors
  12. Glossary
  13. Index