Art History Graduate Student Researches Buddhist Caves On-Site

In June 2012, art history graduate student Meng Tong traveled to Dunhuang, China, to study the Mogao Caves, a Buddhist pilgrimage Art history grad student Meng Tong visited the Mogao Grottoes at the Dunhuang Caves for her thesis on the Silk Road that dates from about 500 to about 1300. The site is being preserved and studied by researchers and scholars from all over the world. Tong wrote: “Of the 735 rock-cut shrines, 492 are adorned with elaborate murals and sculptures. More spectacular, a total of five thousand historical manuscripts uncovered at one of the shrines in the early 20th century articulate the literary and intellectual dimensions of the Buddhist mecca.” Seeing the cave paintings in their original setting made a huge difference for Tong. Taking in all the colors, she said, made her “breathless!” Her trip was funded in part by the Research and Travel Fund of the UA Graduate School, Capstone International and the Department of Art and Art History.[f12]