Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rubin Museum of Art

This summer I visited the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City.  This is a wonderful place - if I lived in NYC I would take advantage of all the Rubin offers - exhibits, lectures, music, art making, film and a restaurant. You can link here to see the programs offered.   

Tibetan Amulet Box

One of my interests is objects made for reasons that support a belief system.  The amulet box has always interested me - a portable shrine.  Not only is it an object but it creates a space, a place to worship. I pulled some of my notes on other objects and spaces and posted information and my thoughts below. 

Ark of Covenant
From what I have read, the Ark has not been revealed but is housed in a church in Ethiopia. Someone is with the Ark at all times and the public is not allowed inside the building.

Stupa in Gotemba, Shizuoka City, Japan
Stupa crowning, Java, Indonesia
After the death of the Buddha, the relics of His body were collected from the funeral pyre and divided into eight parts. Stupas were erected on the relics. The practice of pilgrimage in Buddhism probably started with visits to these places, the purpose of which was to achieve personal advantage such as rebirth in a good location, as well as to honour the great master. 

The below text is from an exhibition at the Rubin entitled Pilgrimage and Faith.  Link here.
"For millennia people of all faiths have embarked on the practice of pilgrimage, journeying to a sacred place or shrine of special religious significance, while proceeding at the same time on an inner, spiritual journey. Objects associated with pilgrimage—whether works of high artistic skill or those intended for everyday use—often reveal deep human needs that transcend particular faiths.
Pilgrimage and Faith explores these important spiritual journeys in three of the world's largest religious traditions: Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. While reflecting on the shared goals of personal development and communal solidarity evident in each tradition, the exhibition also highlights their particular ritual practices and artistic expressions.
The exhibition features diverse examples of objects from each faith, including a Chinese Buddhist pilgrimage map, a Tibetan Buddhist hand prayer wheel, a twelfth-century Christian reliquary casket, Muslim clay prayer tablets."

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