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"Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion"
2002-08-18 until 2002-10-27
Memphis Brooks Museum
USA United States of America
Tibetan faith in the progress of enlightenment in
history was reinforced by and manifested in art, through narrative and
image, as witnessed by the omnipresent icons of spiritual, rather than
tribal, ancestors in tents, homes, monasteries, and temples. Since many of
the Tibetan rural people were illiterate, their oral tradition, as well as a
highly developed graphic portrayal of history, shaped the imagination. The
icons in Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion
provide a pictorial record of the sacred history within which the Tibetan
imagination finds its home.
Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion
presents Tibetan icon paintings, called tangkas, from the extensive
collection of Shelley and Donald Rubin, one of the worlds premier holdings
of Tibetan art. The works presented by the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
represent the principal categories of Tibetan Buddhist painting, while also
including works that expand current scholarship, featuring a broad array of
iconography, lineage lama portraits, and unknown examples of special forms
based on particular liturgies.
The thirty sumptuously painted and exquisitely detailed works range
in date from the mid-thirteenth to the early twentieth century and span the
spectrum of Tibetan artistic schools. The exhibition is toured by Tibet
House, New York, a cultural nonprofit dedicated to preserving the endangered
civilization of Tibet, and curated by Marilyn M. Rhie and Robert A.F.
Thurman, two leading scholars of Buddhist art and thought. Their
groundbreaking catalogue presents an analysis of each painting in terms of
iconography and religious meaning, style, regional lineage and sources. Each
painting is reproduced in color and most are published in the catalogue for
the first time. The catalogue will be on sale at the Brooks Museum Store.
A free gallery talk will be given as part of the Brooks First Wednesday
activities on September 4 at 6 p.m. Dr. Mark W. Muesse, associate professor
of religious studies at Rhodes College, will introduce the intriguing world
of Tibet through its religion and religious art. In his lecture, Dr. Muesse
will discuss how Bon-po, Tibets indigenous religious tradition, and
Vajrayana, the Buddhism of the Dalai Lama, has shaped and determined the
regions artistic practices.
Tibets sacred paintings are a fascinating part of the great
flourishing of Himalayan civilization. Arising from the Buddhist
enlightenment movement, this highly sophisticated art seeks not only to
delight the viewer, but also to move and inspire the heart and spirit of
those who seek a deeper meaning for life.
(item no. 8)
1600 - 1699
Ground Mineral Pigment, Fine Gold Line on Cotton
Collection of Shelley & Donald Rubin