A part of the THUS mandate is to collect diverse examples of Tibetan sacred, fine, and folk arts, with the hope to ultimately repatriate them to a National Museum in a culturally free Tibet. To this end, the Repatriation Collection was started in 1992. This growing collection is comprised of 1,500 objects: tangkas, bronzes, ritual objects, and folk art. Generous collectors who are deeply concerned about the ultimate disposition of the cultural heritage of the Tibetan people have and continue to thoughtfully give representative examples of the vast and sophisticated repertoire of Tibetan arts. Since the Chinese communist occupation of Tibet beginning in 1949, the majority of these art works and Buddhist manuscripts were destroyed, particularly during the Cultural Revolution. Surviving art objects have slowly found their way to the international art market and an emerging understanding of their aesthetic beauty and symbolic meaning has firmly established the world class quality and distinctive excellence of the Tibetan artistic tradition. Grateful acknowledgement to: Jacqueline Dunnington, Horch family, Michael McCormick, John Rezk, Carlton Rochell, Phil Rudkow.
Tibet House offers a full 501 (c) (3) tax deduction on the appraised value of each donation.
“Today the sacred precinct of Tibet has been shattered. That things of great beauty remain in museums and collections around the world is a sign of the quality and importance of Tibetan culture and civilization. These creations represent the Tibetan people and gain them respect in the world’s mind.” – Robert A.F. Thurman, Oriental Art, 1998/1999
OLD TIBET PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVE
The Old Tibet Photographic Archive was initiated in 1992 with the gift of the photographic collection and journal writings of missionary Marion Grant Griebenow.
A substantial grant from the Henry R. Luce Foundation was awarded to restore that collection, which comprises the core of the Old Tibet Archive with some 3,000 images from Tibet (1928-1949).
Tibet House has continued to develop the Archive, subsidizing a research team to identify and obtain other photographic collections in private holdings and museums throughout the world.
With the inclusion of selected works by photographers Hugh Richardson, Heinrich Harrer, Fosco Maraini, David McDonald, and Lt. J. R. Weir, the Archive has become an even richer resource.
Another acquisition consists of an important selection of photographs from the Tokan Tada collection from the Toyo Bunko Library in Tokyo, Japan, which were taken in Central Tibet, Amdo, and Sikkim ca. 1920’s.
Most recently, we acquired a selection of images from the A.T. Steele Collection.