Rubin Museum of Art

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Exporting Enlightenment

Cultural, sculptural, and philosophical ideas traveled along the trade routes of Asia from India to the east, north, and south. To trace the spread of Buddhism along these trajectories, we have invited leading scholars and lecturers to discuss the material and cultural exchange that took place on the continent beginning in 600 BCE. All talks are preceded by a curator-led tour of the galleries.

Related Exhibition

From India East: Sculpture of Devotion from the Brooklyn Museum


Past Programs

June 19, 2013

How the Buddha Became Chinese
Susan Beningson, Assistant Curator of Asian Art, Brooklyn Museum
Presented in association with China Institute 

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June 26, 2013

How the Buddha Came to Japan: Animation, Replication, and the Life of an Indian Image
D. Max Moerman, Associate Director of the Donald Keene Center for Japanese Culture, Columbia University, and of the Columbia Center for Japanese Religions


July 10, 2013

The Migration of Vishnu into Southeast Asia
Michael de Havenon
, independent scholar specializing in sculpture produced in Southeast Asia before the ninth century


July 17, 2013

Hindu Sculpture: The Many Faces of God
Joan Cummins
, Lisa and Bernard Selz Curator of Asian Art, Brooklyn Museum


July 24, 2013

Korean Buddhist Art
Robert D. Mowry
, Alan J. Dworsky Curator of Chinese Art and Head of the Department of Asian Art Emeritus, Harvard Art Museums

Presented in association with The Korea Society

July 31, 2013 

Picturing Indian Spells in Medieval China
Eugene Wang
, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Professor of Asian Art, Harvard University

Presented in association with China Institute


August 14, 2013

The Sublime in Cambodia and Indonesia
Helen Jessup, author of Temples of Cambodia: The Heart of Angkor and Art & Architecture of Cambodia
(This program has been postponed)


August 21, 2013

Asian Images Inside Out:  What Can We Learn from the Contents of Buddhist Statues?
James Robson, Professor of East Asian Languages and Civilizations, Harvard University

Presented in association with China Institute


August 28, 2013

Transforming the Transmitted: Art of the Trans-Himalayas
Katherine Anne Paul
, Curator of the Arts of Asia, Newark Museum

September 18, 2013

Murals of Tibet: Ancient Treasures Revealed
Thomas Laird, Author of the forthcoming book, Murals of Tibet


January 8, 2014 at 7:00 p.m.

Enku: The Sculptor Monk

Jan van Alphen, Director of Exhibitions, Collections, and Research at the Rubin Museum of Art, will present a lecture on the Japanese priest-sculptor Enku (1632–1695), a subject that was featured in his 1999 exhibition at the Antwerpen Etnografisch Museum, where he was Curator and Director. This event is presented jointly by JASA and the Rubin Museum of Art.

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