Introductory Text

Gateway to Himalayan Art invites you to enter into the art and cultures of the greater Himalayan region—Indian, Nepalese, Bhutanese, Tibetan—and the interrelated Mongolian and Chinese traditions. Much of Himalayan art is informed by Buddhist, Hindu, and indigenous religions, and images play a prominent role in cultural practices.

This exhibition introduces the fundamental visual language of Himalayan art, including the types of figures, gestures, and symbols and their meanings; the materials and technologies used to create works of art; and the living practices and intentions for commissioning these works for secular and religious aspects of life. It foregrounds first-person voices from Himalayan communities, including artists, practitioners, and teachers. It offers essential tools for approaching Himalayan art, as well as opportunities to find richer meanings and make connections to your own everyday life.