The Rubin Museum Of Art Launches Three-Part Initiative, Project HIMALAYAN ART

May 26, 2022 1:02PM

The Rubin Museum of Art has announced Project Himalayan Art, an ambitious, three-part initiative with the goal of creating resources for the inclusion of Himalayan, Tibetan, and Inner Asian art for teaching on Asia in higher education and other learning environments.

The three integrated parts will include a publication of the first-ever multi-author and cross-disciplinary introduction to Himalayan art and cultures; a traveling exhibition; and a free, digital platform with online resources. Together they will provide multiple entry points for students, educators, and the public to learn about the art from the cultural regions centered around the Tibetan plateau and gain a holistic understanding of Asia. All three components will launch at the start of 2023, with the traveling exhibition's first stop scheduled for Lehigh University Art Galleries, opening January 31, 2023.

Despite its historical significance and impact in shaping cultural and artistic achievements in Asia, art from Tibetan, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Mongolian, and surrounding regions, has been-until now-rarely taught outside of local contexts. Himalayan art is often presented in isolation as a regional form, unconnected to other parts of Asia, and is excluded from long-established introductory surveys of the visual arts and cultures of Asia, such as those that exist for China, Korea, India, and Japan. Consequently, there are very few teaching resources about Himalayan art.

"The absence of Himalayan art and cultures from most teaching curricula in the United States is a missed opportunity to engage with the meaningful contributions of these artistic traditions to global culture in the broader context of Asia. This omission also runs the risk of typecasting and cultural erasure," says Elena Pakhoutova, senior curator at the Rubin Museum.

As a solution to this underrepresentation, Project Himalayan Art will develop, aggregate, and disseminate scholarly and pedagogical material on Himalayan art and cultures for incorporation into humanities and liberal art curricula in colleges and under-resourced academic environments. The project is led by Elena Pakhoutova and Karl Debreczeny, senior curators at the Rubin Museum, in collaboration with academic advisory groups composed of faculty from diverse disciplines. Project Himalayan Art was conceived of in 2019 and over the last three years has been informed by survey responses of more than 250 educators, faculty, Asia-focused institutions, and foundations.

To read the full article by A.A. Cristi follow the link in the additional information box.