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Smithsonian – Arthur M. Sackler Gallery – Virtual Tour

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery – Smithsonian

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery forms part of the Smithsonian’s national museums of Asian art in the United States. 

The museum was founded in 1982 and is located on the south side of the National Mall. The major galleries of the museum are located underground below the Enid A. Haupt Garden.

The museum’s founding collection consisted of about 1,000 objects, composed of ancient and contemporary pieces.

The collection ranges from Near Eastern metalware and ceramics, South and Southeast Asian sculpture, Chinese jade and bronze pieces, and Chinese lacquerware and paintings.

In 1986 a unique collection of Persian and Islamic paintings and manuscripts was added.

Today the general holdings have been added to with Chinese, Indian, Korean and Japanese paintings, photography, contemporary ceramics from China, 19th- and 20th-century Japanese prints, contemporary Japanese pottery, and other related Asian arts.

Virtual Tour of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Highlights Tour of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Head of a Buddha, Gandharan Style

This Head of a Buddha, in the Gandharan style, depicts the Buddha with a small mouth, slender nose, and wavy locks of hair. This idealized image bears all the Classical features of the Greek influences on Gandharan sculptures.

The figure’s “Ushnisha,” which is the three-dimensional oval at the top of the head of the Buddha, resembles a topknot of hair.

The first representations of the Buddha in the 1st century CE in the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara represent the Buddha with a topknot, rather than just a cranial knob.

It is thought that the interpretation of the “ushnisha” as a supernatural cranial protuberance happened at a later date, as the representation of the topknot became more symbolic and its original meaning was lost.

Bodhisattva Maitreya, 2nd-3rd century

This Gandharan styled statue of Bodhisattva Maitreya depicts as a princely figure with elaborate ornaments. The Maitreya wears a fancy turban, even though a Buddha would invariably wear a simple monk’s robe.

A Maitreya is regarded as a future Buddha of this world, as described in Buddhist theology, concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and humankind.

According to Buddhist tradition, Maitreya is a bodhisattva who will appear on Earth in the future, achieve complete enlightenment, and teach the pure dharma.

According to scriptures, Maitreya will be a successor to the present Buddha, Gautama Buddha.

The prophecy of the arrival of Maitreya refers to a future time when the dharma is forgotten by most of the earthly world.

In Buddhist art, a bodhisattva is often depicted as a handsome youthful prince with a serene expression and graceful manner.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

  • Name:                   Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
  • City:                      Washington, D.C.
  • Country:               United States
  • Established:          1923
  • Location:              1050 Independence Avenue, Washington, D.C.

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Map

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery – 360 Views

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery – 360 Views

A Tour of Washington, D.C. Museums

Arthur M Sackler Gallery Washington DC

The Qur’an – Arthur Sackler Gallery

Sackler Gallery

Smithsonian’s Museum of Asian Art Walking Tour


“The Smithsonian Institute is one of the most popular agencies of government in the United States.”
– Norm Dicks


Photo Credit: Another Believer / CC BY-SA (

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