Section of Paubha-Narrative Scroll depicting scenes from the Svayambhupurana, Nepalese, late 18th-early 19th century, opaque watercolor on cloth, 34 3/8 × 235 in. (87.31 × 596.9 cm) Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Fund, Virginia Museum of Fine Art.
Dharma and Pūṇya: Buddhist Ritual Art of Nepal
September 5 – December 14, 2019
Dr. Jinah Kim, Garner Cowles Associate Professor of History of Art & Architecture, Harvard University
and Dr. Todd Lewis, Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, College of the Holy Cross
This exhibition highlights Nepal’s artistic heritage as a rich and enduring continuation of Indic Buddhist traditions. Featuring paintings, illustrated texts, sculptures, and ritual implements crafted by Newar artisans over the last millennium, “Dharma and Puṇya: Buddhist Ritual Art of Nepal” will be centered on how the Buddha’s teachings were arrayed as much for worldly householders as otherworldly seekers. As the title suggests, it will illustrate the centrality of ritual in Buddhism, showing how illustrated narratives and common practices address every devotee’s need to make good karma (punya), a central tenet of the Buddha’s teaching (dharma). Showing some objects never before displayed in the West, this historic exhibition will focus on the unparalleled contributions of Kathmandu Valley artisans and patrons not only in their communities, but in the subsequent development of Tibetan art.
Extensive programming will accompany the exhibition and will be updated soon.