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Kizil wall painting fragments at the National Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
J. Keith Wilson, Curator of Ancient Chinese Art
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
John Gellatly (1852-1931), an eclectic American collector living in New York City, presented his collection to the National Gallery of Art of the Smithsonian Institution in 1929. From the beginning, his gift of over 1600 items was celebrated for its representation of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century American masters such as Childe Hassam (1859-1935) and Albert Pinkham Ryder (1847-1917). With time, however, researchers outside the field of American painting came to identify and catalogue other remarkable holdings such as early Chinese jade and glass. The Gellatly collection also contains nearly one and one-half dozen wall painting fragments removed from the Buddhist caves at Kizil in 1906 by the German team that was working there.
This paper will introduce John Gellatly and his group of Kizil mural fragments which have been transferred from the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.