Arts of Ancient Viet Nam

From River Plain to Open Sea

Nancy Tingley; With essays by Andreas Reinecke, Pierre-Yves Manguin, Kerry Nguyen-Long, and Nguyen Dinh Chien

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Price: $60.00
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Once a strategic trading post that channeled the flow of riches and ideas among countries situated along the South China Sea and places as far away as India and Rome, Viet Nam has a fascinating history and an artistic heritage to match it. This lavishly produced catalogue will help introduce English-speaking audiences to Viet Nam’s amazing body of artwork, ranging from the first millennium B.C. to the 18th century.


The authors begin by discussing, for example, the elegant burial jars, iron axes, bronze artifacts, and jewelry of the early Sa Huynh culture; the bronze ritual drums of the Dong Son; and the jeweled gold pieces, excavated from the walled center of Oc Eo in the kingdom of Fu Nan. New scholarship investigates the trade in gold and Chinese ceramics between Cham and the Philippine kingdom of Butuan. The final section is devoted to art from Hoi An, once a major international port. Of note are the ceramic wares produced in northern and central Viet Nam from the 16th to 18th century.

Nancy Tingley is an independent scholar who previously served as Wattis Curator of Southeast Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.

Andreas Reinecke is affiliated with the Kommission für Allgemeine und Vergleichende Archäologie des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Bonn, Germany. Pierre-Yves Manguin is Professor at the Ecole française d’Extrême-Orient, Paris. Kerry Nguyen-Long is an independent scholar of Asian art. Nguyen Dinh Chien is Chief Curator of the National Museum of Vietnamese History, Ha Noi.


The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (9/13/09 – 1/3/10) 

Asia Society Museum, New York (2/2 – 5/2/10) 

“The catalog’s clean design and consistent layout make information easy to find. The index is detailed and helpful, and the appendix exploring ceramics from shipwrecks off Viet Nam is a treat.”—ARLIS/NA Reviews 

"Tingley offers a groundbreaking, well-written study that charts the people. histories, cultures, and arts of the narrow strip of land that became Viet Nam. . . .  Essential." —D. K. Dohanian, Choice

Chosen as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2009 by Choice Magazine
ISBN: 9780300146967
Publication Date: March 24, 2009
Publishing Partner: Distributed for The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Asia Society Museum
368 pages, 7 1/2 x 11 1/2
251 color illus. + 3 maps