Newark Museum Celebrates the Tibet Collection Centennial and Observes Tibetan New Year Festival of Losar on March 5
The opening of the special exhibition Tsongkhapa—The Life of a Tibetan Visionary begins the Newark Museum’s Tibet Collection Centennial, a nine-month celebration honoring Tibetan art, culture and history on Saturday, March 5. The Museum will also observe the Tibetan New Year Festival of Losar (Lo meaning year, and Sar meaning new) with a day of activities, films and tours running from 11:30 am until 4:30 pm.
“As the observance of Losar coincides with the opening of the first special exhibition related to the Newark Museum’s Tibet Collection Centennial, it is both fitting and important to herald our own celebration with a combination of traditional and secular activities,” remarked Newark Museum Director Mary Sue Sweeney Price.
Losar, the Tibetan New Year, is a three-day festival that seamlessly mixes sacred and secular practices — from Buddhist prayers and auspicious ceremonies to hanging prayer flags, sacred mantras, folk dancing, and of course, partying to ring in Losar.
The Museum’s new exhibition Tsongkhapa – The Life of a Tibetan Visionary features a rare complete set of narrative paintings of Tsongkhapa (1357-1419), founder of the Gelug religious order whose most notable member is the Dalai Lama. One of only three known complete sets of these biographical paintings, it has recently been conserved and will be exhibited in its entirety at the Newark Museum for the first time.
During the Museum’s March 5 observance of Tibetan New Year, the Venerable Lama Pema Wangdak, Director of the Palden Sakya Centers and Vikramasila Foundation, will offer prayers in honor of Losar from 11:30 am to 12:30 pm. The prayer offering will take place in the Tibetan Buddhist Altar, which was consecrated by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama in 1990.
Visitors will have the opportunity to participate in the drop-in art activity Give Peace a Chance and create prayer flags to hang outside the home to bring peace and happiness. Traditional Tibetan prayer flags are printed with symbols and wishes for luck, compassion, courage or enlightenment. In Tibetan tradition the flags are then hung outdoors so that the wind may carry these wishes out into the countryside. An ongoing film screening, Words on the Wind: The Ritual Raising of Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Flags will also be shown The drop-in art activity and film will be held in the Engelhard Court from 1 pm to 4 pm in the Court.
Tibetan films will be shown in the Large Program Hall from 2 pm to 4 pm, including Beyond the Forbidden Frontier: The C. Suydam Cutting Expeditions to Tibet 1935 and 1937 (30 minutes); and a three-part series called Tibet: The Living Tradition Visions of Enlightenment: Tibetan Buddhist Art (16 minutes), Music and Dance: Celebrating Tibetan Festivals (20 minutes), and Creating A Sacred Space: A Tibetan Buddhist Altar (18 minutes).
Katherine Anne Paul, curator of Arts of Asia and curator of the exhibitions featured in the Tibet Collection Centennial will give a tour of Tsongkhapa to visitors at 2:30 pm during the March 5 opening.
For more information about the Tibet Collection Centennial including programs and exhibitions,