It is a rare and wonderful day when The Observer can share not one but two news items from the sometimes-sleepy world of Tibetan art. Today is such a day, with the Chelsea-based Rubin Museum of Art announcing that it has been awarded a $270,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation, and the Smithsonian’s Sackler Gallery, in Washington, D.C., confirming the donation of a prized Buddhist shrine room by New York collector Alice S. Kandell.
The Rubin said that it plans to use the three-year grant to fund the publication of exhibition catalogues devoted to Tibetan thangka painting. Consulting curator David Jackson, whom the museum describes as “the world’s foremost scholar of Tibetan Buddhist painting,” will lead the effort. The Rubin has numerous examples of thangka paintings in its collection.
Meanwhile, the Sackler has confirmed that Ms. Kandell’s Buddhist shrine room, which appeared at the gallery last year, will reside in its collection permanently. The room contains more than 150 works of art, including silk scroll paintings and a Mongolian silver Buddha that were collected by Ms. Kandell, who is a child psychologist and photographer, over the course of 40 years.
“We need to build a room for it,” Sackler director Julian Raby told the Washington Post. The works are expected to go on view next year.