Vanishing Beauty Asian Jewelry and Ritual Objects from the Barbara and David Kipper Collection Madhuvanti Ghose, Usha Balakrishnan, Jane Casey, Madhuvanti Ghose, Li Qianbin, Anne Richter, Maria Zagitova

Publication date:
05 Jul 2016
Art Institute of Chicago
276 pages: 305 x 229mm
366 color + 26 b-w illus.
Sales territories:


This book commemorates the remarkable gift of over 400 works from the collection of Barbara and David Kipper to the Art Institute of Chicago. These outstanding pieces of jewelry and ritual objects offer a material record of vanishing ways of life. Used as portable forms of wealth, as personal adornment, and in religious practice, they represent a broad spectrum of cultures. The majority comes from the Himalayan region, including Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and Mongolia, and other pieces hail from Afghanistan, China, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
The catalogue showcases stunning works—including delicate amulet boxes, other Tibetan Buddhist artifacts, and ornate Turkmen jewelry—through dramatic photography undertaken specifically for this publication. With five essays placing the objects in the contexts of their native regions, Vanishing Beauty offers a beautiful presentation of creativity and craftsmanship from across Asia.  

Madhuvanti Ghose is the Alsdorf Associate Curator of Indian, Southeast Asian, Himalayan, and Islamic Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. 

“Illuminating”—C. A. Ventura, Choice