The first Sri Lankan Art Exhibition at LACMA: The Jeweled Isle

Sri Lanka Consul General Swarna Gunaratne

Michael Govan (Left 1) , the director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

LACMA Curator Bindu Gude


The first comprehensive survey of Sri Lankan art organized by an American museum, The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka presents some 250 works addressing nearly two millennia of Sri Lankan history.

The image of a bejeweled isle, first invoked in Greco-Roman accounts of Sri Lanka’s precious gems, inspired numerous literary descriptions of the island’s wealth and tropical beauty.


The Jeweled Isle includes precious decorative objects fashioned from gold, silver, and ivory, and 19th-century photographs documenting Sri Lanka’s extraordinary monuments, scenery, and flora. Several artworks convey the importance of sacred sites and relics in Sri Lankan Buddhist practice, while rare images of Hindu gods attest to the long and constant interaction between Sri Lanka and South India.


Exquisite ivories, textiles, and furnishings further reflect nearly four centuries of European colonial presence in Sri Lanka and the dynamic interaction between local and foreign visual traditions.


Featuring LACMA’s rarely displayed collection of Sri Lankan art—one of the finest and most extensive in the U.S.—the exhibition presents a timely exploration and celebration of a geographically complex, ethnically diverse, and multicultural South Asian hub.


Exhibition: Resnick Pavilion, December 9, 2018–June 23, 2019


Opening Ceremony—The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka, 10 am | Sun, December 16, 2018 An oil lamp lighting ceremony followed by traditional Sri Lankan dances and drumming to celebrate the opening of the exhibition The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka. The event will feature performances by the Sri Lanka Foundation Performing Arts and Thath Jith Dance Company. This program was made possible by the Consulate General of Sri Lanka to Western States USA.

LACMA | Smidt Welcome Plaza



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