Located on West 17th Street, The Rubin Museum of Art opened in October 2004 and is recognized as the premier museum of Himalayan art in the Western world. The museum’s collection of more than 2,000 works of art includes examples of Himalayan paintings, sculptures, textiles, ritual objects, and prints spanning the 2nd to the 20th century. The museum’s collection also includes countries and cultures that encompass this region, from Afghanistan in the northwest to Myanmar (Burma) in the southeast and includes Tibet, Nepal, Mongolia, and Bhutan.
The museum has a rotating exhibition, called Masterworks: Jewels of the Collection, which “explores major strands in the development of Himalayan art, covering a period of over 1,000 years, and presents some regional artistic traditions in their broad cultural, geographic, historical, and stylistic contexts.” The exhibit showcases Tibetan diversity, both over time, and in relation to neighboring Bhutan, India, Kashmir, Nepal, China, and Mongolia. I really liked the bronze statues on display
Bodies in Balance: The Art of Tibetan Medicine, is one of the Rubin’s special exhibits. It explores the guiding principles of the Tibetan science of healing and is brought to life through medical paintings, manuscripts, and medical instruments.
To help hit home the message of the exhibit, the museum invites visitors to take an “Are You In Balance?” quiz. The self-scored test emphasizes the focus of Tibetan medicine: the human body is composed of three forces responsible for physical and mental health. Good health is achieved when these forces are in balance. Once you’ve taken the quiz you can learn how Tibetan medicine would recommend gaining balance. You can even purchase some of these “medicines” in the museum’s gift shop, “Bodies In Balance” will be on view through September 8, 2014.