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Volume 35 – Number 3

Apr 2004

 


Rubin Museum of Art

Detail of Guhyasamaja-Akshobhyavajra
Tibet, 17th century
Ground mineral pigment on cotton
Rubin Museum of Art C.2001.1.3

Articles in this issue illustrated and discuss selected workd that will be on view at the new Rubin Museum of Art in the Chelsea district of New York. Due to open in the autumn, it is the first major museum in the West entirely devoted to Himalayan and Tibetan art. Valerie Doran gives an insight into the creation of the museum, and her interview with Shelley and Donald Rubin reveals how their interests and collection evolved. In an attempt to determine the function of a recently acquired circa11th century bronze lotus mandala of east Indian origin, Rob Linrothe identifies the eight mahasiddhas on its petals. Deborah Klimburg-Salter's analysis of the iconography of a thangka depicting the footprints of the founder of teh Drigung Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism offers the general reader a guideline to identifying the Buddhist deities and their relationship to each other. In a second article, Linrothe discusses the shared elements featured in Chinese and Tibetan paintings ofarhats. Kathryn Selig Brown's review of the Rubin's Himalayan Art Website examines what has been accomplished in providing a comprehensive research database of Himalayan and Tibetan art.
 
Our cover shows a work that will be featured prominently in the inaugral show 'The Demonic Divine in World Cultures'. It is one of three paintings in the collection that belongs to a larger set of themes found in Abhayakaragupta's Vajravalicompilation. The style and quality of these works, with their extraordinary detail and luminous mineral colours, relates to the revival of the Khyenri style under the patronage of the Fifth Dalai Lama.
 
 
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