Although our class is long over, Curator Christian Luczanits of the Rubin Museum of Art invited us Hunter College students to a private walk-through of the reinstalled permanent collection and another special treat.
Here’s Christian next to the feet, literally the footprint, of a Tibetan Venerated Teacher. He was certainly that for me, and generous, kind, patient, and open, too.
This third installation of the Masterworks series has a bit of a focus on wrathful deities. I just love these deities, who through their wrath ensure auspiciousness for us. Ah the Tibetan mind. What’s not to love here?
And the color of the mandalas, always a treat, especially in the subtly lit Rubin, atmospheric, meditative, lovely Rubin.
Here’s a detail from one mandala. This is small–maybe 20 inches by 20 inches. So the amount of detail makes me go blind just thinking about it.
On either end of the entry way are Guardians. I particularly like the Guardian of the West, although he does have the ‘evil eye’. Don’t you feel it?
Thankfully, this is moderated by the stupa, or dome-shaped Buddhist prayer structure, he holds in one hand. He must be doing something right, because he has a victory banner in the other hand. Tibetan statues are not static. You get a glimpse here, but also look at the full figure in the slide show, and you’ll see the wind blowing his scarf!
With the Guardian’s blessing, we got a sneak peek at the upcoming Flip Side exhibition! It is going to be stunning. Venture over any time after Thursday.
Meantime, a couple of the back sides of the tapestries are in the slide show. This one is remarkable because the written, red mantra aligns perfectly with the goddess on the front side, so that it appears on her forehead and other key locations. The fabric is so sheer now, we can see through it with proper lighting, which isn’t quite installed yet. But we faked it. When it was created, the artist had to work carefully to line up the text and the image just so.
These are ritual objects, so the intent is important, too.
Intent is where we started our visit, with a newly installed Ganesh in the lobby. Ganesh is the deity who removes obstacles and thereby brings luck. Put a coin there to enhance Ganesh’s power. I put many coins all over my favorite deity. Here’s one of my colleagues placing hers.
So set your intent for a Rubin visit. It’s a chance to immerse in beauty, history, tradition, ritual, and who knows? Maybe a little luck…