Stay connected. Sign up for the Rubin Museum’s monthly newsletter to receive updates about upcoming exhibitions, programs, digital features, and more.Subscribe
Lacquer is a technique for coating wood with a hard, smooth, shiny finish usually made from resin of particular tree species, or from the secretions of the lac insect. The English word “lacquer” comes from the Sanskrit “laksha,” meaning “one hundred thousand,” referring to the great numbers of secretion-producing insects that infect certain trees. In Himalayan art, lacquer was a Chinese luxury media (along with porcelain, silk, etc.) used to create Tibetan Buddhist images and ritual objects beginning in the thirteenth century under Mongol Yuan patronage, and followed by later courts.