The Honolulu Academy of Arts in Hawaii has put together a three month-long exhibition - "The Dragon's Gift: The Sacred Arts of Bhutan" - where over 100 sacred items from Bhutan (which are on loan to the Academy by Bhutanese government) will be put on display.
Visual expressions of Buddhism from Bhutan on view in the exhibition include painted and textile thangkas, sculptures, and ritual items. Works of art date from the 8th century to the 20th century, with especially strong examples of painting and sculpture from the 17th through the 19th centuries, a golden age in the Buddhist art of Bhutan. Works in The Dragon’s Gift were selected for outstanding aesthetic accomplishment and wide iconographic scope. Nearly all of the items in the exhibition required conservation. The Academy-led conservation program has already restored hundreds of works of art and is training a new generation of conservators, primarily monks charged with the responsibility of caring for sacred objects.
Here is an article from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin about the exhibition, which will include some of the oldest masterpieces from Bhutan's old Buddhist monasteries.
"Because the art of Bhutan is so poorly published, ours is the first attempt at presenting the kingdom's art history," says Stephen Little, director of the Honolulu Academy of Arts, which organized the exhibit over a five-year period beginning in 2003. "When we started, we didn't know what would be in the show. We didn't know what was there. We were starting from scratch."
The exhibition is also planned for New York, San Francisco and couple of other international cities.
For more information on the gallery, exhibition and Buddhist art, click here.