Suggested donation: $10, $20 | In Person
Join us for two extraordinary evenings with Jeff Watt, a leading scholar of Himalayan Art and founding curator at the Rubin Museum of Art (RMA) in New York City, to discuss the iconography in Peter Van Ham’s monumental photographs of Alchi Monastery, currently on immersive display in the Tibet House Gallery.
The Alchi murals are a part of the main features of the cultural heritage of Ladakh, and the complex of monastic temples with breathtakingly preserved art from the 11th centuries have become a significant tourist destination. Combined with the brilliant colors and complex iconography dating back to the 10th-11th centuries, the incredibly well preserved Alchi murals have become world famous for their exceedingly rich detail, bright colors, and exemplary execution, as well as their colorful historical documentation of the jataka tales (stories of the Buddha’s past lives), monumental mandalas and iconographic depictions of major Buddhist deities created by teams of master artisans.
Choosing specific aspects of the exhibition, Jeff will give a guided tour discussing the technical skill, taste, and finesse of the Alchi artists: the shading of a skin portion of a large figure, miniature-like attendants, the variant and multicolored outlines of a cloth design and its combination of colors, the elegant twist of energy rays emanating from a deity, the delicate line of attributes held by small depictions of Bodhisattvas in mandalas are painted (seemingly executed with single-haired brushes), the abundant jewelry, or the decorative elements such as volutes, borders, and floral structures.