Masterworks will temporarily close after November 8, 2020. The exhibition will reopen in a new location on the Museum’s 5th floor on January 29, 2021.
Masterworks, a regularly changing exhibition at the Rubin, explores major strands in the development of Himalayan art, covering a period of over one thousand years, and presents regional artistic traditions in their broad cultural, geographic, historical, and stylistic contexts. The 2019 iteration of this exhibition draws primarily from the Rubin collection and is augmented by a few select long-term loans.
Masterworks is organized geographically, showcasing the diverse regional traditions of western Tibet, central Tibet, eastern Tibet, and Bhutan in relation to the neighboring areas of Eastern India, Kashmir, Nepal, China, and Mongolia. Highlights from the exhibition include:
- An elegant 12th-century Lotus Mandala from northeastern India which resembles a flower, with mechanical hinges that allow the petals to open, revealing the central deity surrounded by eight dancing yoginis.
- Durga Killing the Buffalo Demon, a powerful 13th-century Nepalese depiction of the goddess at the climactic moment of her victory, one of the great sculptural treasures of the Rubin Museum.
- An elegant 17th-century Tibetan gilt-bronze sculpture of a yogini, the female tantric deity Nairatmya, or “Goddess Without Self,” recently gifted to the Museum.
- A dramatic, 5-foot-wide Eastern Tibetan painting of the goddess Tara Saving from the Eight Fears, a one stop for protection, long life, and good fortune.
- A fantastical Mongolian woodcarving of the Skull Palace of the fierce protector and god of war, Begtse Chen, constructed almost entirely from skeletons and pinnacles of skulls.
Treasures from the Zhiguan Museum of Fine Art
On view March 9, 2019 through November 9, 2020
The special gallery Treasures from the Zhiguan Museum of Fine Art features highlights from an important new museum of Himalayan art in Beijing.
Curated by Karl Debreczeny
Support of this exhibition has been provided by contributors to the 2018 Exhibitions Fund.