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Objects of Devotion: The Buddha Across Asia

In-Person Program

All-Day Tour

Thursday, August 3, 2023 - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1CD018
Tour meets in lobby of Jefferson Dr entrance
of the National Museum of Asian Art
1050 Independence Ave SW
Washington, DC
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Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room (detail) from the Alice S. Kandell Collection, National Museum of Asian Art

Buddhism—and the art it inspired—helped shape the cultures of Asia. Today, its extraordinary art is a source of beauty and contemplation for audiences across the world. Join Robert DeCaroli, an art historian and specialist in the early history of Buddhism, as you spend the day exploring Buddhist and other Asian works of art in two major museum collections in the region.

Begin at the National Museum of Asian Art for a look at the museum’s holdings, focusing on objects showcasing the Buddha’s life story and early devotional practices as well as the schools and visual forms that developed in East Asia. Explore the permanent collections with museum docents and DeCaroli, co-curator of the Sackler Gallery’s recent “Encountering the Buddha” exhibit.

After lunch, visit the Walters Art Museum’s newly installed “Across Asia: Arts of Asia and the Islamic World.” A private tour of the exhibition highlights the Buddhist art collection while exploring cultures and spiritual traditions across Asia.

While traveling by bus between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, DeCaroli provides insights and answers questions generated by the day’s experiences.

World Art History Certificate elective: Earn 1/2 credit*

Know Before You Go

  • The tour uses a motorcoach from downtown Washington, DC. Content delivered by the study leader on the bus is an integral part of the study tour experience. Meeting the group once the tour is en route is discouraged.
  • Tour participants meet at the National Museum of Asian Art, Jefferson Drive and 12th St., S.W., Washington, DC (Smithsonian Metro, Blue, Orange, and Silver lines), and continues by bus, returning to the Ripley Center at its conclusion. No secondary pick-up.

General Information

  • Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 2, 2023.
  • Smithsonian is a mask-friendly environment. Masks are strongly recommended to be worn on buses at all times and may also be required at various indoor sites.
  • For additional tour information:

*Enrolled participants in the World Art History Certificate Program receive 1/2 elective credit. Not yet enrolled? Learn about the program, its benefits, and how to register here.