Do you appreciate fine art from around the world? If you are originally from the United States or Europe, you may be familiar with well-known western artists like Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh and Georgia O’Keeffe, but not as well-versed in the artists and artistic traditions that originate in other parts of the world, such as Asia. Thanks to dedicated museum curators and generous patrons, such as Louise Gund, there are many exhibitions of Himalayan art currently on display in museums throughout the United States. Consider visiting one or more of them in order to learn about non-Western artistic traditions and broaden your cultural horizons.
Divine Women, Divine Wisdom
Divine Women, Divine Wisdom, an exhibition at the University of California’s Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), is dedicated to showcasing representations of women in Hindu and Buddhist works of art. The works in the collection are geographically diverse in their origin. They come from India, Indonesia, modern-day Afghanistan and Pakistan, Tibet and Nepal. Some of the pieces emphasize the traditionally revered female qualities of compassion and grace, while others depict their subjects as fierce and powerful. Divine Women, Divine Wisdom premiered on June 26, 2019 and will remain on display until May 24, 2020.
Gateway to Himalayan Art
If you live on the east coast of the United States, you may be looking for a museum that is closer to home than BAMPFA. The Rubin Museum of Art, located in New York, New York, premiered its Gateway to Himalayan Art exhibition on May 31, 2019. The exhibition will be open to the public until June 8, 2020. This exhibition is a great choice, no matter what your level of familiarity with Himalayan art may be. A large map, which is on display at the start of the exhibition, will help you to get your bearings in reference to the cultural milieu from which the artwork on display originates. Some of the modern-day countries included on the map are China, India, Bhutan and Mongolia. The works in the exhibition are not limited to paintings and sculptures: significant objects such as a prayer wheel and a stupa, or shrine, are included as well.
Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment
This exhibition is located at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California. The works of art curated for Awaken are all Buddhist, and they come from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in addition to the Asian Art Museum. The exhibition makes the bold claim that it will permanently change your outlook on life by presenting its contents as tools that will assist with meditation as well as heightened awareness. The works of art on display are extraordinarily diverse: they include paintings, sculptures, textiles and more, and the dates when they were created span from the year 800 to the year 2016.
Next time you plan to visit a museum, consider seeing one of these exhibitions. You will have the opportunity to both familiarize yourself with a variety of artists and learn about Himalayan cultural traditions over the last several centuries.