Guardian of the Flame: Art of Sri Lanka on View with Rare Manuscripts at Cantor Arts Center

March 2–June 12, 2005

Stanford, California—The Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University presents a major exhibition of Sri Lankan art in its only West Coast viewing, March 2–June 12, 2005. Guardian of the Flame: Art of Sri Lanka is augmented at its Stanford venue by the additional display of an important collection of rare Sri Lankan palm leaf manuscripts and manuscript covers.

This is the first major exhibition in the United States to present the entire history of Sri Lankan art, from the Anuradhapura Period (269 BC–993 AD), up to the conquest of the Kingdom of Kandy by the British in 1815. In addition to fine images from the classical period of Sri Lankan civilization (400–1235), Guardian of the Flame highlights the artistic achievements of the Kandyan period (1597–1815) with superb masterpieces, dispelling the popular belief that no great sculpture was produced in Sri Lanka after the fall of Polonnaruva in 1235.

Sri Lankan Buddhism and its art were instrumental in shaping the religious and artistic development of South East Asia, especially the arts and religion of Burma, Thailand, and Laos.

Guardian of the Flame: Art of Sri Lanka has been organized by Phoenix Art Museum. A 180-page full color catalogue accompanies the exhibition. The exhibition's presentation at Stanford is supported by the Halperin Exhibitions Fund and Cantor Arts Center members.