Nomadic Art
Ordos bronzes from the Irmgard and Hans Bidder Collection

04.07.2007 to 14.10.2007

An Exhibition in cooperation with the Eurasia Department of the German Archaeological Institute

In 1965, the Museum for East Asian Art, as it was then called, was able to purchase the collection of over one hundred "Ordos bronzes" which the diplomat Dr. Hans Bidder (1897-1963) had collected in China before the Second World War. During the first first millennium BC, the Ordos area, located in northwestern China, was populated by nomads belonging to the cultural region of Central Asia which extended far to the west. The "Ordos bronzes" consist mostly of decorative plaques which were sewn onto garments and horses' bridles. They are nearly always decorated with animal motifs. The plaques are skilful documents of the life of the nomad people for whom they were produced.

Finds from recent excavations in the People's Republic of China supplement the presentation and help in the understanding of the art objects' precious significance within the context of a herdsman's life. In this way, for the first time, nomad art from the museum's own collection is extended by an archaeological and geographic dimension.