If traveling to the Kingdom of Bhutan and exploring the Himalayas is on your must-do list but you now find yourself in NYC, do the next best thing and check out The Dragon’s Gift at the Rubin Museum. Happening now through January 5th, this is a groundbreaking exhibition of rare religious Buddhist art focusing on ancient ritual dances. 87 works feature intricate paintings and images created using applique and embroidery framed in brocade, called thangkas; gilt bronze and wooden sculptures; and ritual objects ranging in date from the 8th to the 20th century. Because most of these objects come from active temples where they still serve as consecrated ceremonial vessels, Buddhist monks will remain in residence at the museum throughout the exhibition, performing daily purification prayers to preserve their sanctity. My favorite are the intricate Bodhisattvas which represent the different paths to enlightenment. Beyond these Bhutanese sacred objects, large video screens in the main gallery show traditional ceremonies and dancing.
More information on PlanetEye: Rubin Museum of Art (RMA)