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  • Thumbnail for Ideal Tibetan Government (Lotus Field) - third rendition
    Ideal Tibetan Government (Lotus Field) - third rendition by Unknown

    Ink and pencil drawing of an arrangement of lotuses signifying the structure of ideal Tibetan government, 23-5/8 (L) x 18 (W) inches. This is the same theme as 2004.2.3 and 2004.2.4, but here the various functions are symbolized by a hierarchy of lotuses rather than buildings. The Dalai Lama is again located at the top center, connected by lines to the heavens above. This is rendered with some skill by an artist with prior training.

  • Thumbnail for Padmarupa (Thangka) - detail
    Padmarupa (Thangka) - detail by Unknown

    Ground mineral pigment on cotton, silk, 50-1/2 (L) x 30-1/2 (W). Padmarupa wears a five -skull crown and holds a conch in his left hand and a drum in his right. Above him are Paden chogyo, Chok Lang, Marme Dzay, Chokyi Drakpa and Yonten O. In front are Yawa Huti, and ascetic and the scholar Gaya Bhara. In the lower foreground are Mahakala, a monk and Lhamo. Painted in Central Tibetan style.

  • Thumbnail for Wheel of Dharma
    Wheel of Dharma by Unknown

    Ink and colored pencil on paper, 23 (L) x 18 (W) inches. Here the 8-spoked wheel of Dharma rests on an unfolding lotus. This is rendered with some skill by an artist with prior training.

  • Thumbnail for Horn and Silver Snuff Bottle
    Horn and Silver Snuff Bottle by Unknown

    1-7/8 inches (W) x 2-3/4 (H). Snuff bottle, horn with silver mounts set with various,gemstones.

  • Thumbnail for Seated Jambhala Serpo
    Seated Jambhala Serpo by Unknown

    6 inches (H) x 3-3/4 (W) x 2-1/2 (Depth). Figure, silver, seated Buddha with traces of pigment.

  • Thumbnail for Amitabha Buddha (O-pa-me) Thangka
    Amitabha Buddha (O-pa-me) Thangka

    64 (L) x 34-1/2 (W) inches. Painting on cloth in U-Tri or central Tibetan style. Amitabha, the Buddha of Infinite Light , is seated in the center with crossed legs on a lotus throne presiding over his Paradise with multicolored halos and his palace behind him. He wears a red and yellow drape over his green robe and holds a bowl with three peaches. In the left corner is Avalokiteshvara and upper right corner is Padmasambhava. Below him within the palace walls are the Eight Bodhisattvas with an extra devotee and musician attendants. In the lower corners are two monks seated on lotus flowers. On the reverse are eleven red ink mantric inscriptions; Om ah hum. Mounted as a scroll with red silk brocade frame on orange dragon brocade with four brass scroll ends and no dust covers.

  • Thumbnail for Amitayus Thangka
    Amitayus Thangka by Unknown

    46 (L) x 26-1/2 (W) inches. Painting on cloth in U-Tri central Tibetan style. Amitayus, the Buddha of Eternal Life, is seated in the center on a lotus throne between a peony and a peach tree. Adorned with jewelry, he wears a gold crown on his head and blue scarves draped over his shoulders. He holds the Vase of Eternal Life in his hands. Above him, left to right, are Avalokiteshvara, Tsongkhapa, and a Akshobhya Buddha Yab Yum. Below are the White Tara i the left corner and Usnishavijaya in the right. On the reverse are eight red in mantric inscriptions: Om ah hum. Mounted as a scroll with red and yellow floral silk brocade frames on blue floral silk brocade with a painted yellow and green and red silk dust covers and ornate repousse silk lotus design scroll ends.

  • Thumbnail for Bell with Vajra Handle
    Bell with Vajra Handle by Unknown

    7-3/4 (L) x 3-1/2 (Dia.) inches. Metal bell with a brass handle. The brass handle is composed of a half dorje surmounting the head of a lotus crowned wisdom deity (Yum or Mother) which sits on a lotus flower. The bronze bell has lotus petals on the dome, a band of conch shells with lotus flowers in them and a band of dorje around the rim. The inside has four lotus petals in the dome with some characters (possibly Om ah hum) and a long iron clapper attached to a ring with a piece of white cloth.

  • Thumbnail for Hand drum
    Hand drum by Unknown

    23-1/4 (L) x 3-5/8 (Dia. of drum) inches. Double carved wood drum with stretched leather faces, a silver floral ban in the middle inlaid with six turquoise stones and two silver side loops with leather straps ending with wood beads. Decorated with a long macrame knotted red and yellow silk tassel which is attached to a woven silver chain wrapped in red fabric. (This small drum is played by shaking it rapidly so that the bead/clappers hit the drum faces.)

  • Thumbnail for Round Ga’u
    Round Ga’u by Unknown

    4-1/8 (L) x 3 (W) inches. Round silver G'au or reliquary box with beaded rim and scrolling leaf filigree design on the lid with a single coral bead in the middle. The back has a removable base plate made of copper. The cover fitted on one side with a long looped ring and a pointed bead on the other.

  • Thumbnail for Phurpa
    Phurpa by Unknown

    8-1/8 (L) x 7/8 (W) inches. This cast brass phurpa has three faces of wrathful deity at the end followed by a hexagonal knot, a double lotus flower grip, another knot, and head of a makara holding the tripartite iron blade with gilded nagas emerging from the mouth of the makara.

  • Thumbnail for Traveling shrine charm box or 'gao'
    Traveling shrine charm box or 'gao' by Unknown

    3 5/8 by 3 5/8 inches; mixed metal. A "gao" is a reliquary, most often worn around the neck. Some are elaborate and high art pieces, with silver, gold, and jewels. Charm or amulet inside referred to as a 'tsa tsa'. Acquired by Berea College in 1973.

  • Thumbnail for Tsongkhapa on a tiger (Thangka)
    Tsongkhapa on a tiger (Thangka) by Unknown

    Ground mineral pigment on cotton, silk, 49-1/2 (L) x 29 (W) inches. Je Tsongkhapa, c. 1357-1419 is revered as a manifestation of Manjushri, the god of wisdom, founder of the Galugpa or Yellow Hat sect, and a proponent of the Kadampa school of Buddhism. The tiger is sometimes shown as his vahana (vehicle), indicatin gTsongkhapa's ability to control the tiger-like bodily senses. he holds a skull in his left hand and a flaming sword in his right. At the top left is the 3rd Panchen Lama (Yontenod Palden Yoshe) and at the right is the philosopher-sage Nagarjuna. along the bottom, left to right, are Jedung Lozang Palden, Mahakala and Asanga.

  • Thumbnail for Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche) (Thangka)
    Padmasambhava (Guru Rimpoche) (Thangka) by Unknown

    Ground mineral pigment on cotton, silk, 47-3/4 (L) x 29 (W) inches. Padmasambhava was the Indian Guru who brought Vajrayana Buddhism to Tibet in the 8th century, where he is credited with founding the Nyingmapa sect. He is shown surrounded by mahasiddhas (great yogic adepts) and manifestations of his various forms. Above, from right, are Vajrahana and consort, Vajrapani, Amitabha, two mahasiddhas, an unidentified figure, Mahakala and consort, Chenrezi, a Dakini, Lodan chrogsre, Nyama Oxer, and Shakyasengge. Flanking him ae his tow consorts, Mandarawa and Yeshetsogyal. Below are a protective deity, Guru Sengge, lion headed Dakini, Dorje Drolo, Rahu, Begtse, a guardian figure, Dorje Legspa on a snow lion, and a group of heavenly musicians on another snow lion in the lower right.

  • Thumbnail for Samsara (Wheel of rebirth) (Thangka)
    Samsara (Wheel of rebirth) (Thangka) by Unknown

    Ground mineral pigment on cotton, silk, 64 (L) x 39 (W) inches. This is a common Tibetan theme that represents a dynamic vision of karma and the cycles of rebirth in various forms, both coarse and subtle, earthly, heavenly and hellish. All are driven by the beastly desires symbolized by the snake, bird and pig located at the center of the wheel. The twelve causes of rebirth are shown on the rim while the six conditions of birth are shown inside the wheel. The wheel is held in the grasp of Yama, the lord of death. The message here is that the teachings of the Buddha offer a path to escape from this world of endless change and suffering.

  • Thumbnail for Assassination Drawing
    Assassination Drawing by Unknown

    Ink and colored pencil on paper, 18 (L) x 23 5/8 (W) inches. This sketch depicts the Buddhist monk, Lhalung Payador wit bow killing King Lang Darma, last king of Tibet, in the 9th century. According to historical legend, in the late 8th century Padmasambhava had been invited from India by KingTrisong Detsen to spread Buddhist dharma. King Lang Darma (c. 1836-42) seized the throne in the name of restoring the pre-Buddhist Bon religion and eradicating Buddhism. This event resonates with the circumstances of 1959-60, in which Buddhism was again under attack by an unsympathetic usurper of power.

  • Thumbnail for Wheel of Life
    Wheel of Life by Unknown

    Ground pigment on cloth, mounted on brocade.

  • Thumbnail for Sakyamuni
    Sakyamuni by Unknown

    Ground pigment on cloth, mounted on brocade.

  • Thumbnail for Shiva in His Yabyum with his Sakti
    Shiva in His Yabyum with his Sakti by Unknown

    Bronze; 6-1/2 inches (H) x 2 (D) x 3 (W).

  • Thumbnail for Tea Cup with Metal Cover and Stand
    Tea Cup with Metal Cover and Stand by Unknown

    Teacup: 2-1/2 (H) x 3-1/2 (Dia); stand: 2-1/2 (H) x 4-1/8 (Dia); cover: 2-1/4 (H) x 3-3/8(Dia) in inches. The porcelain tea cup is decorated with five Buddhist lion dog puppies in yellow aubergine, blue and red. It sits into a footed silver repousse stand and is fitted with a stupa-design domed matching silver cover. The lotus shaped stand has the Eight sacred Buddhist symbols on a leaf scroll background and three lotus flowers on the high foot. The matching lid is toped with a jade bead. There is a illegible red mark on the base of the cup.

  • Thumbnail for Siling Poba (Man's Drinking Bowl)
    Siling Poba (Man's Drinking Bowl) by Unknown

    5 (Dia) x 2-3/8 (H) inches. Silver-lined wood burl man's drinking cup, with a high gadrooned silver foot.

  • Thumbnail for Shakyamuni Buddha and Attendants - Thangka
    Shakyamuni Buddha and Attendants - Thangka by Unknown

    38 (L) x 23-1/2 (W) inches. Ink and color on cloth. Shakyamuni, the Historical Buddha is seated in the center on a lotus throne. His blue and gold radiant halo is framed by billowing clouds and flanked by a landscape. He holds a bowl of peaches in his left hand with his right i the earth witness mudra and wears a red and yellow robe. Above him, left to right, are Lozang Kalzang (7th Dalai Lama), Bajradhara, Amitayus; Buddha Akshoba, three-faced Savavid and Rajapani. He is flanked by two Mahassiddas on asses above two sacred elephants. In front of the throne are two disciples and below is Jambhala, Mahasuvarna Vaishravana and Black Jambhala (the Three gods of wealth). On the reverse are eleven red ink mantric inscriptions: Om ah hum. Mounted as a scroll with red and yellow silk frames on dark blue silk with a faded red silk dust cover and plain silver scroll ends.

  • Thumbnail for Kadampa Stupa
    Kadampa Stupa by Unknown

    7-1/8 (H) x 3-3/4 (Circumference) inches. The stupa or chorten, is also a reliquary object and represents Buddhas enlightened mind. The bell-shaped cavity would hold the sacred reliquary. The bell-shaped base is surmounted a square base and thirteen tiered graduated discs with a flat lotus umbrella and lotus finial. The base is wrapped with red and black leather. Terese Bartholomew believes that the stupa was probably opened and resealed in this way.

  • Thumbnail for Seated Buddha
    Seated Buddha by Unknown

    6 inches (H) x 3-3/4 (W) x 2-1/2 (Depth).

  • Thumbnail for PORTRAIT OF NGAWANG LOBSANG GYATSO, THE FIFTH DALAI LAMA (1617-1682)
    PORTRAIT OF NGAWANG LOBSANG GYATSO, THE FIFTH DALAI LAMA (1617-1682)

    Information provided by the museum label states, "In Tibet, the religious teacher (lama or guru) has a special significance. The great Fifth Dalai Lama, sitting in a classic pose of meditation, is honored in this three-dimensional portrait. He is an important figure in Tibetan history because of the key role he played in consolidating spiritual and political rule in the country during the 17th century. He is famous for building the Potala Palace, which towers over the capital city of Lhasa, and for establishing close diplomatic relations with the Manchu court of China. During his lifetime, he was publicly recognized as an incarnation of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.†-- Gilt bronze -- Coll. Art Institute of Chicago (Kate S. Buckingham Endowment, 1996.31)