Featured Topic: Buddhism

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Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art
The Huntington Archive of Buddhist and Related Art, The Ohio State University
Online presentation of a 2004 exhibition, with images of art, artifacts, ritual objects and practices, and related diagrams organized into 13 topics covering a range of issues related to enlightenment, meditation, and other Buddhist practice. In-depth explanatory text for all topics and images. Most of the artworks are from Tibet, Nepal, India, and China.

Go to Museum Resource: http://huntingtonarchive.osu.edu/Exhibitions/CircleofBliss/index.html
Tibet Information Zone
The Newark Museum
Online version of the museum's Tibet Information Zone, "an interactive educational resource where individuals, families and school groups can gain valuable information on Tibetan life and culture, as well as learn about the Museum's extensive and world-renowned collection of sacred and secular Tibetan objects." With a virtual tour of the Tibet Buddhist Altar created by artist Phuntsok Dorje, along with images of a mural Dorje has created at the museum. Images from the mural ("depicting the vast snowy mountains, nomad tents, and rural villages of Tibet") illustrate a special section on Tibetan life, with overviews of nomadic life, Tibetan festivals, aristocratic life in old Lhasa, agriculture and farm life, and animals in Tibet.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.newarkmuseum.org/museum_default_page.aspx?id=7244
Yamantaka Mandala
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
With an introduction to the mandala; a guide to the symbolism of the Minneapolis Institute's Yamantaka mandala, created by Tibetan monks from the Gyuto Tantric University; a step-by-step guide to the mandala's creation; plus technical details about the preservation of the mandala, a short video documentary of the mandala consecration ceremony, and background information about Tibet. Also see the ADDITIONAL RESOURCES section (below EXPLORE THE COLLECTION on the site menu) for a related teacher's guide with lessons and activities for the classroom.

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.artsmia.org/art-of-asia/buddhism/yamantaka-mandala.cfm
Buddha in Paradise
Rubin Museum of Art
"The human mind has long envisioned realms or states of being beyond the suffering of ordinary existence. Many cultures have imagined such realms, which are beautifully evoked by the English word 'paradise,' with its connotations of protection, contentment, and delight. Buddha in Paradise brings together images exploring the Tibetan Buddhist concept of Pure Lands, paradises often associated with particular buddhas or bodhisattvas."

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.rubinmuseum.org/images/swf/Buddha-In-Paradise.swf
The Buddha Project
American Museum of Natural History
Featuring more than 1,000 objects from the AMNH Asian Ethnographic Collections related to the Buddha and Buddhist practice. The collection includes objects from throughout Asia, but the majority of the objects (700+ of 1,000) are from Tibet.

Go to Museum Resource: http://anthro.amnh.org/anthropology/databases/common/public_access.cfm?database...
Exploring the Mandala: Symbols of the Universe
Asia Society
A background essay for teachers about mandalas: "Buddhist devotional images often deemed a diagram or symbol of an ideal universe."

Go to Museum Resource: http://asiasociety.org/countries-history/traditions/exploring-mandala
From the Land of the Gods: Art of the Kathmandu Valley
Rubin Museum of Art
"Historically, the kingdoms of the Kathmandu Valley comprised the political, religious, and cultural entity known as 'Nepal.' Located between India and Tibet, the Valley has been the crossroads of trans-Himalayan trade, the shared sacred site of various Himalayan religions, and the epicenter of Himalayan arts production and influence. This unique position has fostered a tremendous amount of cultural and religious exchange in Kathmandu, thus establishing a living creative tradition that is one of the single most important influences in Himalayan art history. This exhibition features the finest examples of Nepalese art from the RMA collection, highlighting the variety of forms and subjects, techniques and media that emerged from the Valley’s creative matrix."

Go to Museum Resource: http://www.rubinmuseum.org/images/swf/From-the-Land-of-the-Gods.swf
Mandala Sand Painting: Creating an Enlightened World
Asia Society
Over a 10-day period In September 2003 the Tibetan monks of Drepung Loseling Monastery constructed a sand mandala – a sacred cosmogram – "in commemoration of September 11 and as an offering of peace and healing to the people of New York City." This archive website includes images showing day-by-day construction of the mandala, as well as the original press release describing the event, an interview with Geshe Lobsang Tenzin, founder and director of Drepung Loseling Institute, and a Teacher's Guide to the Mandala.

Go to Museum Resource: http://sites.asiasociety.org/arts/mandala/index.html
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