The USC U.S.-China Institute wishes you a Happy Lunar New Year! 祝您虎年快乐!
Illuminated: The Art of Sacred Books
This exhibition explores the aesthetic and technological approaches used in creating and adorning sacred books from a variety of cultures to present Tibetan sacred books.
Organized by the Rubin Museum of Art, and cocurated by Elena Pakhoutova (associate curator, Rubin Museum) and Agniezska Helman-Wazny (a former visiting scholar at Cornell), this exhibition explores the aesthetic and technological approaches used in creating and adorning sacred books from a variety of cultures to present Tibetan sacred books in a broad cross-cultural context. The exhibition includes nineteen works from the Johnson Museum and the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Carl A. Kroch Library, Cornell University. Among the featured objects are illuminated Tibetan manuscript pages and complete books written in gold and silver on dark blue and black paper of various sizes in the traditional Tibetan book format. Gold, silver, and other precious materials were often used to adorn objects of religious devotion, especially the sacred books of the living traditions of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Christianity, and Islam. Through an in-depth examination of the comparable attitudes found in the objects on view, the exhibition provides new insights into the culture of the book.