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Thailand and Burma are neighbouring countries that are approximately the same size in area and population and have many cultural features in common. Yet they have traditionally been adversaries. This book explores, through their art, some of the elements that have both drawn the countries together and driven them apart. While representing the latest art historical scholarship, Emerald Cities is also an accessible entry into the world of Thailand and Burma, and highlights such luxuriant and spectacular artworks as gilded and mirrored ritual vessels, black lacquer and mother-of-pearl inlaid furniture, and vibrant, colourful paintings. These objects convey an exotic and exuberant ambiance which transports the reader to a lost time and place, one unlike any other.
Forrest McGill is Chief Curator and Wattis Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, where he has organized many exhibitions.
M. L. Pattaratorn Chirapravati is associate professor of art history at California State University, Sacramento. She was co-curator of the Asian Art Museum's 2005 exhibition The Kingdom of Siam: The Art of Central Thailand 1350-1800.
Peter Skilling is a specialist in the archaeology, history, and literature of Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia who has lived in Thailand for thirty years.