March 11, 2011 - March 11, 2015

    Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection

    Masterworks, a regularly rotating exhibition at the Rubin, explores major strands in the development of Himalayan art, covering a period of over 1,000 years, and presents some regional artistic traditions in their broad cultural, geographic, historical, and stylistic contexts. The 2014 iteration of this exhibition draws from the Rubin collection and long-term loans and incorporates a considerable number of new works gifted to the Museum recently.

    Masterworks is organized geographically, showcasing the diversity of the art of Tibet over time and in relation to neighboring Bhutan, India, Kashmir, Nepal, China, and Mongolia. Highlights from this exhibition include a rare sixth to seventh century Gandharan Style Buddha from Afghanistan, recently purchased with funds from an anonymous donor; a newly acquired Nepalese manuscript folio with a depiction of Buddha Ratnasambhava from ca. 1200; a rich and colorful scroll painting of a group of protective deities from the late 18th century featuring a young Dalai Lama; and an embroidered image of Vajrapani produced under the guidance of Tibetan Buddhist teachers in an image-making technique perfected under the lavish patronage of the Chinese Ming court.

    To learn even more about Masterworks, read the press release.

    Curated by Christian Luczanits

    Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection was made possible, in part, with an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

    Image credit: Virupaksha, the Guardian King of the West; China; Qing dynasty, 17th–18th century; clay, polychrome, stone eyes, wooden base, and interior armature; C2010.10


    Collection Highlights Catalog

    With contributions by Jan Van Alphen, Beth Citron, Karl Debreczeny, David Jackson, Christian Luczanits, Elena Pakhoutova, and Kathryn Selig Brown 

    Collection Highlights: The Rubin Museum of Art features 108 works—an auspicious number in Tibetan culture with significance extending into Hinduism and even into popular Western culture—that were chosen by the curatorial team to offer a sense of the geographic, cultural, and chronological breadth of the Museum’s holdings. Stunning visuals are accompanied by brief descriptions that will speak to both lovers of art from the Himalayan region and those who are new to this rich tradition. A special fold-out panel presents the Museum’s Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room.

    Price: $45 hardcover; $55 hardcover with custom slipcase

    Publisher: Rubin Museum of Art, New York
    ISBN-13 978-0-9845190-6-4
    ISBN-10 0-984519-06-8

    To purchase: Call 212.620.5000 x350 or email to place your order. 


    Featured Video

    Watch Curator's Choice: Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection on PBS. See more from NYC-ARTS.


    Exhibition Resources

    Exhibition audio tour available on iTunes U.
    Download now

    Educator Resource Guides

    View the Educator Resource Guide Online
    Download the Resource Guide

    Installation Photographs

    Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection (2012, Rotation B)
    Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection (2011, Rotation A)

    Educational Interactives

    Interactive imageExplore the principal concepts of Himalayan art, including important deities and symbols, the materials and techniques used in creating works of art, and the purposes and functions of these works in their sacred and secular contexts through online interactives.

    Recommended Interactives:
    Explore Organization
    Explore Iconography
    Explore Composition and Structure

    Reading List

    The Nepalese Legacy in Tibetan Painting by David P. Jackson

    Mandala: Sacred Circle in Tibetan Buddhism by Martin Brauen

    Demonic Divine:Himalayan Art and Beyond by Robert N. Linrothe and Marylin M. Rhie

    Patron and Painter: Situ Panchen and the Revival of the Encampment Style by David P. Jackson

    Worlds of Transformation: Tibetian Art of Wisdom and Compassion by Marilyn M. Rhie and Robert Thurman