• Isaiah Lawrence

Rubin Museum: A Journey Through Himalayan Art

Covering a period of more than one thousand years, you can about the history of Himalayan art at “Masterworks: A Journey Through Himalayan Art.” From the geographic, historic, religious, and artistic factors of the culture, they’ll all be covered at the “Rubin Museum.” The diverse regional traditions of Tibet will be showcased, starting off by exploring the earlier roots of North Eastern India, Kashmir, and Nepal. Then you find out about Bhutan, Mongolia, and China.


Prayer Wheel” © Rubin Museum All Rights Reserved.

Cultivate an interest for the longevity of Himalayan art at, “Masterworks: A Journey through Himalayan Art” exhibition is from January 29, 2021 to January 8, 2024. The “Rubin Museum” is curated by Karl Debreczeny and to plan your visit, you can click on the Rubin Admission button on the “Rubin Museum” website. Featuring over 600 objects from the Himalayan regions, there’s an online database you can look at. “Rubin Museum” has approximately, 3,800 objects from 1,500 years ago, to the present. The “Rubin Museum” is located on 150 W. 17th St, New York, NY 10011. On Thursdays, they’re opened from 11:00 A.M.-10:00 P.M. and from Fridays to Saturdays, they’re open from 11:00 A.M. to 10:00 P.M.. If you have any questions, you can give them a call: (212) 620-5000.

Goddess Ushnishavijaya In Stupa” © Rubin Museum All Rights Reserved.


North Eastern India is the birthplace of Buddhism and it’s from India where Tibetan art inherited its aesthetics, proportions, and visual languages. Stone sculptures from the Pala period of Northern India are good examples of Tibetan art being inherited by India, which represents the male and female form.


Ganesha” © Rubin Museum All Rights Reserved.


In China, the Tibetan Plateau or Plateau of Tibet is called the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau or the Qing–Zang Plateau and in India, it’s called the Himalayan Plateau, which is a vast, elevated plateau in southwestern China. You’ll be enlightened on the three major indigenous styles of classical Tibetan art, which rose in the 15th and 16th century. During this period, Tibetan painters were increasingly inspired by Chinese landscape painting conventions of green and blue palettes.


Buddha Vajradhara” © Rubin Museum All Rights Reserved.


In a more cultural vibe of interactive knowledge, if you already know the history of Himalayan art, you can relive the welcoming experience. They’re constantly updating the latest facts about Himalayan art. Himalayan art is characterized by the religious and sacred culture in Tibet, Nepal and Kashmir. The Tibetan, Nepalese, and Kashmiri culture comes from the religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Bon.


Green Tara As Protectress From The Eight Fears” © Rubin Museum All Rights Reserved.


From looking at their celebrated artwork, you’ll be introduced to a refreshing experience of new knowledge. There’s so much to learn from when looking at the Himalayan artwork from the history behind the deities, to what they mean to others, and how all of the religious elements were incorporated into art form. At the “Rubin Museum,” instead of a virtual experience, try an up close and personal admiration of the symmetrical symbols, vibrant colors that’ll make you curious of how predated artists were superfluously skilled, various three dimensional sculptures created from gold, silver, and copper, and more.


Drenpa Namka” © Rubin Museum All Rights Reserved.

Commonly used are the four colors representing deities as well as the Four Tantric Activities. White represents peaceful deities, red represents powerful deities, yellow represents deities of increase, and blue/black represents wrathful deities. All of the activities are related to human emotions, which can be strengthened through meditation and ritual practice. I’ll just leave it up to you to either research or visit the “Rubin Museum” to find out what the peaceful activities, increasing activities, powerful activities, and wrathful activities entail.


Guan Yu, God of War” © Rubin Museum All Rights Reserved.


Maybe you’ll develop a higher level of consciousness and learn about the 5 Buddha Familes. The principle of the 5 Buddha Families is actually central to Tantric Buddhism or Tibetan Vajrayana Buddhism. The first texts about the 5 Buddha’s were discovered as early as the 6th century AD. The names of the families are the Buddha Family, the Vajra Family, the Ratna Family, the Padma Family, and the Karma Family.


Buddha Shakyamuni” © Rubin Museum All Rights Reserved.


If just learning about different cultures sparks your interest, your journey of being enlightened by the Himalayan art is waiting at “Masterworks: A Journey Through Himalayan Art,” at the “Rubin Museum.”



Work Cites:

HAR. Introduction to Himalayan Art. 2021.

Tibetan. 5 Buddha Families. 2021.

Rubin Museum. Gateway To Himalayan Art. 2021.