"Gateway to Himalayan Art" is a wonderful introduction and overview of the principal concepts and its cultural contexts. A large multimedia map will orient you to the geographic scope and diversity of the Himalayan region and the adjacent cultural areas that compromise the greater Himalayan sphere, which including parts of India, China and Mongolia. From here you are invited to explore for main sections: Figures and Symbols, Materials and Techniques, Purpose and Function, and Tibetan Art in Context. In addition to paintings and sculpture, objects such as a stupa, prayer wheel, and ritual implements demonstrate that the accumulation of merit, the secular concerns of long life, wealth, and spiritual gains are sought by patrons, and hoped to be fulfilled through ritual use of these objects. The Rubin, this jewel of a museum is one of my favorites in the city.
The Rubin Museum 150 West 17th Street www.rubinmuseum.org