Masterworks, a regularly changing exhibition at the Rubin, explores major strands in the development of Himalayan art, covering a period of over one thousand years, and presents regional artistic traditions in their broad cultural, geographic, historical, and stylistic contexts. The exhibition draws primarily from the Rubin collection.
Masterworks is organized geographically, showcasing the diverse regional traditions of western Tibet, central Tibet, eastern Tibet, and Bhutan in relation to the neighboring areas of Eastern India, Kashmir, Nepal, and Mongolia. Highlights from the exhibition include:
An elegant 12th-century Lotus Mandala from northeastern India which resembles a flower, with mechanical hinges that allow the petals to open, revealing the central deity surrounded by eight dancing yoginis.
Durga Killing the Buffalo Demon, a powerful 13th-century Nepalese depiction of the goddess at the climactic moment of her victory, one of the great sculptural treasures of the Rubin Museum.
An elegant 17th-century Tibetan gilt-bronze sculpture of a yogini, the female tantric deity Nairatmya, or “Goddess Without Self,” recently gifted to the Museum.
A dramatic, 5-foot-wide Eastern Tibetan painting of the goddess Tara Saving from the Eight Fears, a one stop for protection, long life, and good fortune.
A fantastical Mongolian woodcarving of the Skull Palace of the fierce protector and god of war, Begtse Chen, constructed almost entirely from skeletons and pinnacles of skulls.
The special gallery Treasures from the Zhiguan Museum of Fine Art features highlights from an important new museum of Himalayan art in Beijing.
A new audio guide, The Power of Objects, explores how art conveys religious power and how these objects function as sources of power in their own right. Explore power objects on the second and third floors.
Rubin Museum of Art
The Rubin Museum of Art is a museum dedicated to the collection, display, and preservation of the art and cultures of the Himalayas, India and neighboring regions, with a permanent collection focused particularly on Tibetan art. It is located at 150 West 17th Street between the Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) and Seventh Avenue in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City.
The Rubin Museum of Art is a dynamic environment that stimulates learning, promotes understanding, and inspires personal connections to the ideas, cultures, and art of Himalayan regions.
Visitors are at our core. We share with all communities our collection and broadly conceived exhibitions as a catalyst for dialogues about art and culture.
We believe in taking an open and active approach to engaging learners at all levels and helping them to understand our world. We do this by encouraging deep connections and transformational experiences in a welcoming, enjoyable, and beautiful environment.
We encourage creativity, innovation, and risk-taking, as well as excellence, transparency, and collegiality in all that we do.
As stewards of an increasingly significant collection of art from Himalayan regions, we are dedicated to its preservation, display, and study and to advance this field of art and cultural understanding.