Golden Visions of Densatil: A Tibetan Buddhist Monastery
12 – 6PM
Guest curator Dr. Olaf Czaja withDr. Adriana Proser, John H. Foster Senior Curator of Traditional Asian Art at Asia Society
This exhibition will be the first ever to explore the history, iconography, and extraordinary artistic production associated with the central Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Densatil that was largely destroyed during China’s Cultural Revolution. The Densatil Monastery is renowned for the eight extraordinary thirteenth- to fifteenth-century inlaid gilt copper memorial stupas (tashi gomang) that were located in its main hall. These tall, glittering, multi-tiered structures were elaborately decorated with Buddhist imagery that depicted the spiritual journey toward enlightenment. Following the destruction of the Monastery, fragments of the reliefs and sculptures were dispersed throughout the world. This exhibition brings together a selection of these works now in public and private collections in the United States and Europe to explore the spiritual journey that was laid out in the imagery of the memorial stupas. The exhibition will also include photographs of the Densatil Monastery taken by Pietro Francesco Mele during Italian scholar Giuseppe Tucci’s 1948 expedition to Tibet.