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The Rubin Research

Families can follow along to this tour, designed for children ages 6-11, for a fun learning experience that puts Himalayan art in context. You’ll meet important figures like the Buddha, Wrathful Deities, and Tara, learn all about how sculptures are made, and finish your journey with a short children-friendly meditation.

Hiking the Himalayas

Welcome to the Rubin Museum! The art in our Museum is from the countries on this map. Can you see the mountains?


Meet the Buddha

Most of the art in the Museum was created when the religion and philosophy called Buddhism spread across the Himalayas. Meet the Buddha, the founder of this religion, who lived 2,500 years ago.

Buddha Shakyamuni; Amdo province, Eastern Tibet; 16th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation; F1997.1.5 (HAR 39)


Wrathful Deities

This fearsome deity looks angry—how different compared to the peaceful Buddha we just saw! Although he seems scary, he can teach us to be brave.

Damchen Garwai Nakpo; China; Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), ca. 18th century; gilt brass; Rubin Museum of Art; C2005.16.65 (HAR 65488)


How are Sculptures Made?

Follow the different stages of metal casting to learn how the sculptures in the Museum were made.

Working with Metal; Ratna Jyoti Shakya Workshop, Kathmandu, Nepal; winter 2010; metal alloy; Rubin Museum of Art


Spinning the Prayer Wheel

How are the artworks represented in the Museum used? Learn more about how this spinning object is used for prayer.

Prayer Wheel; Tibet; 19th–20th century; wood, metal, and pigments; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of Thomas Isenberg; SC2010.32a-h


Tara, the Protectress

What are you afraid of? This thangka painting shows Tara, a goddess of compassion, who protects people from fears.

Tara Protecting from the Eight Fears; Kham Province, southeastern Tibet; late 19th-–early 20th century; pigments on cloth with silk brocade; Rubin Museum of Art; gift of Dr. Michael Henss, Zurich C2014.8


Wheel of Life

How can we learn to be more like the Buddha? This image tells us a lot about how Buddhists think about the world and how to be our best selves.

Wheel of Life; Tibet or Mongolia; 19th century; pigments on cloth; Rubin Museum of Art; Gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin; C2006.66.131 (HAR 78)


Children’s Mindfulness Meditation

Let’s take a quiet moment to reflect on our journey and how art can teach us about mindfulness. Find a quiet place in the Museum to focus on your breath and follow along with this family-friendly meditation led by Mindfulness for Families speaker Ayman Mukerji Househam.


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