By Jennifer R Jones | Posted on September 01, 2009 11:00 AM
Most visitors--and locals--in New York City know the names of the major museums—the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Natural History; MoMA; the Guggenheim. But how many have heard of the Rubin Museum? If you’ve seen all the major exhibitions or just want a chance to explore one of New York’s smaller art troves, check out this exquisite repository of art from the Himalayas. Focusing on Himalayan culture, particularly that from Nepal, Mongolia, Tibet and Bhutan, the museum showcases painting, textiles, ritual objects, prints and sculptures. Works from countries including Pakistan and China as well as areas of Central and Southeast Asia are also on view. "Mandala: The Perfect Circle," which opened in mid-August and runs through January 11, 2010, highlights the importance of the mandala, an artistic aid for meditation in the Buddhist tradition that is meant to help practitioners towards enlightenment; the complicated symbolism of the number five is also highlighted, showing its importance in tantric Buddhism. Mandalas in various forms from paintings to portable and ritual objects are on display, as are virtual mandalas created by computer graphic designers; the exhibition includes works from the Rubin’s own collection as well as loans from private collections and museums around the world. Films, lectures, music and dance are on the agenda as part of the museum’s programming in conjunction with the exhibition. The Rubin Museum is located at 150 West 17th Street. Call (212) 620-5000 for hours and more information.