Himalayas, South Asia and Southeast Asia
This gallery opened to the public on 13th February 2015.
Occupying a whole floor of the museum, the completely refurbished gallery features an amazing array of objects from a Tibetan Buddhist bone apron to exquisitely carved Indian jades and a headhunting sword from Borneo. The objects on display range in date from ancient Indus valley ceramics dating back to 2,500 BC to a 1960s safety helmet decorated with Islamic motifs by its owner in Indonesia.
The creation of the gallery has been the culmination of 18 months intensive research into the museum’s collections. Curators at the museum re-examined thousands of objects and re-evaluated their importance with the assistance of members of local South Asian and Southeast Asian communities in Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham and Middleborough.
The gallery has been named the Roberts Gallery in honour of Dr and Mrs JT Roberts from Northumberland who donated a significant collection of 20th century Southeast Asian art to the museum in the 1990s, a number of pieces from this collection will also feature in the gallery.
The refurbishment of the gallery has been made possible with the generous support of the Arts Council England and the DCMS/Wolfson Foundation Museum and Galleries Improvement Fund.