Harn Museum of Art presents 'Gateway to Himalayan Art', a traveling exhibition from the Rubin Museum of Art

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Harn Museum of Art presents 'Gateway to Himalayan Art', a traveling exhibition from the Rubin Museum of Art
Life Story of Buddha, Shakyamuni, Tibet; 19th century, Pigments on cloth, Rubin Museum of Art, Gift of Shelley and Donald Rubin, C2006.66.164 (HAR 157)



GAINESVILLE, FLA.- The Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida is presenting Gateway to Himalayan Art, a traveling exhibition organized by the Rubin Museum of Art that introduces the main forms, concepts, meanings and traditions of Himalayan art and cultures. The exhibition features 110 objects from the Rubin Museum’s collection as well as multimedia elements—audio, videos, essays, maps and more—from the Rubin’s recently launched educational initiative, Project Himalayan Art, a resource designed to support the inclusion of Tibetan, Himalayan and Inner Asian art and cultures into undergraduate teaching on Asia. The exhibition will be on view from Feb. 13 to July 28, 2024.

“The Harn is the only Southeastern US venue for the exhibition,” said Harn Museum of Art Director Dr. Lee Anne Chesterfield. “We are excited to bring the exhibition and its extensive learning opportunities not only to our local and academic audiences but to be a draw for new visitors within Florida and those who live beyond the state.”

Gateway to Himalayan Art, which is modeled on the Rubin Museum of Art’s cornerstone exhibition of the same name, invites visitors to engage with the art and cultures of the greater Himalayan region—Indian, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Tibetan—and the interrelated Mongolian and Chinese traditions. Much of Himalayan art is informed by Buddhist, Hindu and indigenous religions, and images play a prominent role in cultural practices.

The exhibition explores the fundamental visual language and meanings of Himalayan art, the materials and techniques used, and the purposes for the creation of these objects, often in the context of religious and secular well-being. Gateway also includes voices from Himalayan artists and contemporaries, along with connections to related digital content to expand visitors’ knowledge of the works of art on view.

The exhibition features traditional scroll paintings (thangka), sculptures in various media, medical instruments and ritual objects. Among the featured installations are in-depth displays that explain the process of Nepalese lost-wax metal casting and the stages of Tibetan thangka painting.

Gateway to Himalayan Art is an integral component of the Rubin Museum’s Project Himalayan Art, a three-part initiative that also includes the publication “Himalayan Art in 108 Objects” and a digital platform, a hub for the study of Himalayan art. Together they provide introductory resources for learning about and teaching Himalayan art, with focus on cross-cultural exchange with Tibet at the center, and Buddhism as the thread that connects these diverse cultures.










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