The Mogao Grottoes are a series of 492 caves carved into a cliff face near the city of Dunhuang, a central stop along the fabled Silk Road in northwestern China. Since 1989, the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and the Dunhuang Academy have worked together to preserve and protect these cave temples, which constitute one of the world’s most significant sites of Buddhist art.
Neville Agnew, head of the GCI’s Dunhuang initiative; Lori Wong, principal project specialist at the GCI; Susan Whitfield, director of the International Dunhuang Project and curator of Central Asian manuscripts at the British Library; and Marcia Reed, chief curator at the Getty Research Institute, discuss the creation and preservation of the Dunhuang caves, as well as their historical importance.
Through remarkable archaeological excavations, Valerie Hansen, author of “The Silk Road: A New History,” pieces together the dynamic and complicated history of the Silk Road. Hansen discusses the impact of micro exchanges along these prolific trade routes, the cultural and historical significance of coins, and what she refers to as the “time capsule of Silk Road history,” the Mogao caves at Dunhuang. Hansen is professor of history at Yale University, where she teaches Chinese and world history.
David Tudor (1926–1996) was an American pianist and composer of experimental music who was a leading interpreter of piano compositions by John Cage and musical director for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company. Guided by Getty Research Institute (GRI) curator, Nancy Perloff, and deputy director, Andrew Perchuk, we dig into the GRI’s David Tudor archives, a collection of scores, notes, preparatory performance materials, correspondence, printed matter, and more than 500 audiotapes.