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In Absentia

Before I get your hopes up, this post is merely a placeholder. I’m terribly sorry I haven’t gotten an Updates post up for November yet, but things have been somewhat hectic this month. Between starting two part-time jobs and trying to make the deadline for a number of internships and graduate programs, I haven’t had much time for breathing, let alone writing and researching. The month has just started though, so with any luck I hope to have a November/December Updates post up before Thanksgiving – if not, I hope you will understand and accept my humblest apologies. Thank you all so much for reading, and I promise I will be back here as soon as I can.

Tashi Delek!

Kristen


Openings, Endings, and Updates for October 2011

Perhaps in accordance with the end of spring and the ushering in of the fall, there are quite a few more endings in October than there are openings. Visit what you can before they are gone, and let me know what you think if you make it out. Despite all the closings, October is also full of a number of special events – including lectures, book signings, and performances – so it should be a busy month indeed if you plan on seeing it all!

 Openings

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: While technically opening in September and not October, I must have missed this exhibit beginning this Wednesday called “Wonder of the Age”: Master Painters of India, 1100-1900 (September 28, 2011 – January 8, 2012). Accompanied by a catalogue co-written by John Guy and Jorrit Britschgi, this major loan exhibition will feature “some 220 works selected according to identifiable hands and named artists…dispel[ling] the notion of anonymity in Indian art.” For more information on this beautiful collection, see: http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions/listings/2011/wonder-of-the-age–master-painters-of-india-11001900. May I also take this opportunity to note that the new design of the Met’s website is beautifully intuitive and comprehensive – they really did an amazing job!

 Rubin Museum of Art: Mirror of the Buddha: Early Portraits of Tibet (October 21, 2011 – March 5, 2012) opens towards the end of October, presenting portraits of founding masters and important teachers within the Buddhist traditions, primarily in the India-inspired Sharri style of painting. It is the first in a series of exhibitions exploring particular Tibetan painting styles, and according to the official website, “will clarify some of the confusion and correct misidentifications previously posited by Western scholars.” The exhibit is accompanied by a full-color catalog by its curator, David Jackson, who will also hold a special members-only key talk and preview the night before its opening, Thursday, October 20th at 6 pm. For more information on this new and potentially enlightening display, take a look at its official announcement: http://www.rmanyc.org/nav/exhibitions/view/1309.

 Endings

Asia Society Museum: The extraordinary exhibition, The Buddhist Heritage of Pakistan: Art of Gandhara, ends Sunday, October 30. If you have not already seen the contents of this much-anticipated collection of early Buddhist artifacts, I urge you to make it out to the Museum before it is gone. A lot of work was put into getting these pieces to America from their home institutions, and it would be a shame to miss out on the opportunity to see them. Be sure to read my brief review of the exhibit and its accompanying lecture by Christian Luczanits if you haven’t already (https://beyondthedisplay.wordpress.com/2011/09/15/buddhas-and-bodhisattvas-from-pakistan-to-new-york/), and for more information, see its official website (http://asiasociety.org/arts/asia-society-museum/current-exhibitions/buddhist-heritage-pakistan-art-gandhara).

 Brooklyn Museum: Vishnu: Hinduism’s Blue-Skinned Savior (June 24, 2011 – October 2, 2011) ends as soon as next week. Proclaimed as the first major museum exhibit to feature this deity, it is a must-see for anyone interested in Indian art and religious practice (http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/vishnu/).

The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art: The current exhibit, Artist Tashi Dhargyal and the Menris Tradition of Thangka Art, ends on October 9, 2011. Sadly, no further information is provided regarding this display and its contents on the Museum’s official website: http://www.tibetanmuseum.org/calendar.htm.

Newark Museum: While part of the Tibetan Collection Centennial Exhibitions, the small but particularly beautiful display, Pots of Silver and Gold (March 5, 2011 – October 30, 2011), will be removed at the end of October. While not grand enough to make a special trip, if you planned on making a visit to the Newark Museum this coming month, be sure to take a peek! See the first segment of my entry on the Centennial Exhibitions for more information (https://beyondthedisplay.wordpress.com/2011/07/23/celebrating-a-century-part-one/), as well as the official description on their context and fabrication (http://www.newarkmuseum.org/potssilvergold.html).

Rubin Museum of Art: The exhibition Pilgrimage and Faith: Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, having opened in July 1st of this year, will be closing on Monday, October 24, 2011. For more information on this cross-cultural exhibit, see the official website and press release here: http://www.rmanyc.org/nav/exhibitions/view/1061.

 One-Time Events

 American Museum of Natural History: While not at all related to anything particularly pertaining to Asian art, artifacts, or traditions, I had to mention the 16th Annual Halloween Celebration at AMNH, where (for $10 for non-members and $9 for members) children can trick-or-treat in costume, participate in arts and crafts, and carve pumpkins throughout the halls of this inspirational and historic Museum. The event takes place on Halloween itself (October 31, 2011) from 4 pm to 7 pm. For more information, see: http://www.amnh.org/calendar/event/16th-Annual-Halloween-Celebration/

 Rubin Museum of Art: As always, the Rubin Museum of Art is hosting a number of exciting events next month for a variety of audiences (including a number of live musical performances), and I will only mention a small sampling –check out the website’s official calendar for more events than these:

This coming Friday and Saturday evenings the Museum will be featuring Public Rehearsals of The Vimalakirti Sutra with Peter Sellars, Kate Valk, & Michael Schumacher at 7 pm. This work-in-progress is meant to accompany the newly-opened exhibition Once Upon Many Times: Legends and Myth in Himalayan Art (September 16, 2011 – January 30, 2012). Tickets are $25 for non-members, $22.50 for members (http://www.rmanyc.org/events/load/1318).

Additionally, on Wednesday, October 12, author Dana Micucci will be holding a Reading and Signing of her new travel memoir, Sojourns of the Soul: One Woman’s Journey around the World and into Her Truth, at 6 pm (http://www.rma2.org/events/load/1386), followed by the New York Film Premiere of the documentary Light of the Valley: The 15th Renovation of Swayambhu at 7pm (http://www.rmanyc.org/events/load/1359).

The weekend of October 21-23 promises a three-day Traditional Thankga Painting Workshop with Carmen Mensink. Registration is required and all materials are included for $175 for non-members, $150 for members. Sign-up soon if you are interested, as spaces for these workshops often fill up fast (http://www.rmanyc.org/events/load/1393).

The last event I will mention is the one I am most excited to see. Andrew Quintman, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Yale University, will be leading a discussion along with several other professors and professional authors entitled From Urdu Epic and Tibetan Sorcerers to Today: Fantasy in Tibetan and World Literature. Dr. Quintman specializes in the Buddhist traditions of Tibet and the Himalayas, and he currently serves as the Co-Chair of the Tibetan and Himalayan Religions Group of the American Academy of Religion. The event will take place on Wednesday, October 26 at 7 pm and costs $12 for non-members, $10.80 for members. Tickets also include a 6:15 pm tour of Once Upon Many Times: Legends and Myth in Himalayan Art (September 16, 2011 – January 30, 2012) (http://www.rmanyc.org/events/load/1385).

The Tibet House: On Thursday, October 6 at 7 pm, the Tibet House will be hosting a Book Launch and Signing for Yangzom Brauen’s new book, Across Many Mountains: A Tibetan Family’s Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom. This emotional memoir chronicles the lives of three generations of Tibetan women, covering almost one hundred years of Tibetan history and looks to be a moving and inspirational read. Admission to this event is free for all (http://www.tibethouse.us/programs/view/581693/4).

Tashi Delek!


Environmentally-Conscious Concert Comes to NYC!

The Sixth Annual South Asian Festival, Sun to Stars, will be returning to Solar One, New York City’s first solar-powered “Green Energy, Arts, and Education Center” on Saturday, September 10, 2011 from 2pm-10pm (in case of rain, the date will be changed to Sunday, September 11). Curated by Parul and Reena Shah, the Festival will feature a number of performers, South Asian cuisine from local chefs, Indian-style floor seating, and special children’s activities such as traditional kite and lamp making, coloring deity puppets, and a storytelling performance.  South Asian and environmental non-profit groups will also be there to share information about themselves and their activities at the Festival, including the Rubin Museum of Art.  This looks to be a very fun, family-oriented, informative event, and I’m sorry that I will have to miss all the beautiful music due to prior engagements.  Check out the official website for more information, and let me know how it goes if you can make it!

Sun to Stars: The Sixth Annual South Asian Festivalhttp://solar1.org/events/suntostars/


A Brand New World

First off, welcome to my blog and thank you for giving it a chance. If you stumbled here randomly, I hope you like what you see (or at least the potential for what you will eventually see as the site builds with time). This is my first foray into the world of blogging, so I hope you will bear with me as I find my way around.  I should probably begin with who I am, although that is never very easy to do succinctly. The easiest answer is that I am a recent M.A. graduate with a degree in Buddhism and Tibetan Religions who has only just moved back home to her birthplace of New Jersey after three years of study in Florida (not as horrible of a move as one might imagine).  I’ve studied Tibetan and Sanskrit, know a little Italian and even less Japanese, and I have interests in history, languages and translation work, material artifacts and attire, and of course Central and South Asian cultural traditions. I love to write and to teach, and I have a profound affinity towards museums and libraries that I owe to my maternal grandparents, who carted me around with them throughout the east coast and abroad, reading me every museum placard, highway billboard, and informational pamphlet along the way since I was old enough to walk. It is because of these combined passions that I’ve decided to pursue this blog, which like any worthwhile endeavor has a very specific purpose (conveniently listed above but which I will repeat here nonetheless).

As you may or may not be aware, the New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania area contains a plethora of amazingly diverse museums and cultural institutions, many of which feature collections related to my areas of study and interest. Despite this, I never quite seemed to be “in the know” of what was happening or found out about interesting events either too late to make arrangements to attend or only days after they had already occurred.  I knew (or at least liked to imagine) I couldn’t be alone, and I felt that I should rectify the situation for myself and anyone else that might be wondering when and where things are happening. In humblest terms, with this blog I plan to keep track of and chronicle some of it not all of the gallery exhibits, museum collections, cultural events, and academic occurrences that feature items and topics related to Tibet and Central Asia that are happening not all that far from my doorstep. More grandly, however, I hope that I can provide some documentation and insight into these events, and highlight what, at least in my amateur opinion, features as the best of what I am able to see and attend personally for those unable to see for themselves. And of course, don’t be surprised if I occasionally throw out comments on tangential events or personal activities I just find far too exciting not to share. In any case, I hope that you enjoy what I have to say and will follow me along in my adventures as I try to reveal the bits of Himalayan culture that are so close to my home.

As for that, stay tuned for my post this weekend chronicling my very recent visit to the Newark Museum to see its astounding Tibetan Collection Centennial Exhibitions.

Tashi Delek!