James Shaheen mentioned the “In the Realm of the Buddha” exhibition at Washington’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art in this post, but you’re missing out if you don’t see some of the amazing art from the show. (A slideshow is here.) The exhibit combines an earlier exhibit, “Lama, Patron, Artist: The Great Situ Panchen,” which opened last year at the RMA in New York, and “The Tibetan Shrine from the Alice S. Kandell Collection.”

While every object in the “Situ Panchen” show stands alone, the pieces from the Kandell Collection work together to create the textured, glittering world of a shrine, that liminal space through which Tibetan Buddhists access the sacred and through which the sacred enters their world. The light rises from below, the way oil lamps might illuminate the statues, drawing your eye upward to the peaceful faces of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Their arrangement complies with liturgical rules, and the objects themselves span multiple centuries, just as the shrines of wealthy families in Lhasa (the origin of most of these pieces) would.

Supersecret Hayagriva Father-Mother China, Qing dynasty, FIrst half of the 18th century Gilt copper; base sealed with original copper plate incised with double vajra; contents inside From “The Tibetan Shrine from the Alice S. Kandell Collection”

Akashagarbha After Situ’s set of Eight Great Bodhisattvas Kham Province, Eastern Tibet; 18th centeury Ground mineral pigment on cotton From “Lama, Patron, Artist: The Great Situ Panchen” Private collection

There’s much more to see in the Wall Street Journal‘s coverage of this exhibition here.

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