March 11, 2011 - January 7, 2013

    Amoghapasha;Nepal; ca. 1400; mineral pigment on cloth; C2006.66.592 (HAR100003)

    Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection displays some of the museum's most stunning works of art. The stylistic diversity and relationships between various strands of Himalayan and neighboring cultural and artistic traditions are represented by important works of art spanning a period of over one thousand years. In addition to a wide range of Buddhist and Hindu deities rendered in all major media, Masterworks also highlights the museum's most notable recent acquisitions, all of which have rarely or never been exhibited.

    Life-size facsimiles of an entire sequence of murals from the Lukhang, the Dalai Lamas' Secret Temple near the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet, provide an exceptional opportunity for viewing Himalayan art at its most lavish. The original eighteenth-century wall paintings--inaccessible to the public until the late twentieth century--uniquely depict the most esoteric of meditation and yoga practices in vivid color and detail. Created with new photographic methods by Thomas Laird and Clint Clemens, this display of large-format, high resolution pigment prints allows for even better access to the paintings than is possible in the temple itself. Their presentation at the Rubin marks the first showing in the world of prints created using this technology and also provides the first-ever opportunity outside Tibet to view full-size Tibetan murals in their relationship to portable art from the region.

    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.


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    Audio Tour

    Download the exhibition audio tour from iTunes U

    Related Presentation: The Chase and the Dharma

    View Slide Presentation

    An illustrated keytalk by Dr. Toni Huber which explores images of hunting found in Tibetan paintings and manuscript illustrations. Learn More

    Explore Organization and Iconography

    Explore the Organization and Iconography in early Tibetan paintings and how the relative size and placement of figures is based upon the religious hierarchy of deities.  To experience the interactive please use the link above.

    Explore Composition and Structure

    Explore the Composition and Structure of a beautifully intricate early 19th century Tibetan painting. Learn the three-fold division that is typical of Tibetan paintings. To experience the interactive please use the link above.

    Educator Resource Guides

    Click here to view the Educator Resource Guide for the exhibition Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection.

    View the Educator Resource Guide Online *New

    Download the Resource Guide

    Installation Photographs

    Click here to view the current installation of Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection (2012, Rotation B).

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


    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