Art about Art

Detail from Padmasambhava as Pema Jungne, Tibet, 19th century
Pigments on cloth, Rubin Museum of Art, C2002.1.19 (HAR 65094)

Join us at 6:00 PM Tuesday, March 26, as Rob Linrothe, Northwestern University Professor of Art History, offers art historical observations on representations of art in The Second Buddha.

Although not distinctive to paintings of Padmasambhava or of the teachers who have preserved his legacy in Tibet, many of the works in the exhibition and catalog feature depictions of paintings, sculptures, ritual objects, and architecture.  These are instances of “art about art,” and are a fascinating reward for close looking not only at the main figure or the overall composition, but details and what may appear to be relatively minor elements.  This talk highlights some of the instances of this in the The Second Buddha: Master of Time exhibition, and explores the ways the art on view incorporates particular structures and forms of visual “supports” that were important in the transmission of Padmasambhava’s life, lore, and rituals.

This event is free and open to the public.

Programming for The Second Buddha was coordinated by Associate Professor of Asian Studies Benjamin Bogin through the Skidmore Faculty Scholar Residency, which is co-sponsored by the Center for Leadership, Teaching, and Learning and the Office of the Dean of Special Programs; and the Tang Teaching Museum.

About Rob Linrothe

Rob Linrothe is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Art History at Northwestern University, Evanston. His research is mainly based on fieldwork in Ladakh and Zangskar. He earned a Ph. D. in Art History from the University of Chicago. In 2016–2017 Linrothe received a Senior Fellowship from the American Institute of Indian Studies to do fieldwork in eastern India on 8th to 13th century sculpture in Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha.  His recent books are Seeing Into Stone: Pre-Buddhist Petroglyphs and Zangskar’s Early Inhabitants (2016); Visible Heritage: Essays on the Art and Architecture of Greater Ladakh, ed. Rob Linrothe and Heinrich Pöll; and Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and its Legacies (2015) (with contributions by Christian Luczanits and Melissa Kerin). Other recent publications include: “Noise Along the Network: A Set of Chinese Ming Embroidered Thangkas in the Indian Himalayas,” in Buddhist Encounters and Identities Across East Asia (2018); “‘Utterly False, Utterly Undeniable’: The Akaniṣṭha Shrine Murals of Takden Phuntsokling Monastery,” Archives of Asian Art (2017); “Donor Figures on 9th–12th Century Sculpture in Eastern India: A Progress Report.” Journal of Bengal Art 22 (2017); “Siddhas and Sociality: A Seventeenth-Century Lay Illustrated Buddhist Manuscript in Kumik Village, Zangskar (A Preliminary Report)” In Visible Heritage (2016); “Mirror Image: Deity and Donor as Vajrasattva” in History of Religions (2014); and “Portraiture on the Periphery: Recognizing Changsem Sherab Zangpo,” Archives of Asian Art (2013).

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