Category Archives: Academia

CARC launches new Gandhara Connections project thanks to support of the Bagri Foundation and the Neil Kreitman Foundation

The Classical Art Research Centre at Oxford University has launched a new project to advance and support the understanding of ancient Gandharan art and its links with the Graeco-Roman world. The project has its origins in an exploratory workshop held by CARC in 2013. Thanks to the support of the Bagri Foundation and the Neil Kreitman Foundation, the Centre will now be able to hold international workshops and other public events over the next three years, to produce open access publications representing the latest thinking about Gandharan art, and to develop a variety of online resources for anyone interested in the subject. These will be available through a new microsite:

The Buddhist art of Gandhara, in what is now roughly northern Pakistan, has attracted intense interest since the nineteenth century, particularly because of its largely unexplained affinities with the the art of Greece and Roman, thousands of kilometers to the west, as well as other traditions of the Indian Subcontinent and the ‘Silk Road’ regions. The Gandhara Connections project will focus especially on this theme, as well as unresolved questions around the chronology and local geography of Gandharan sculpture.

You can follow us with Twitter or Facebook for further information about the project as it develops, and we shall be making periodic announcements to this email list.

Classical Art Research Centre, University of Oxford
Twitter: @CARC_Oxford @GandharaConnect

Articles Recently posted on

Of interest to our readers. – Buddhist Art News

“The Thousand-armed Mañjuśrī at Dunhuang and Paired Images in Buddhist Visual Culture.” Archives of Asian Art 66.1: 81-105
Michelle C. Wang

“A Fifteenth-Century Sino-Tibetan Buddha Hall at the Lu Family Tusi.” Archives of Asian Art 65, 1-2 (2015): 87-115
Aurelia Campbell

“Reflections on the origins of Mahāyāna”
Johannes Bronkhorst

“Painters, Patrons and Paintings of Patrons in Early Tibetan Art”
Dan Yerushalmi

“The Choice of Materials in Early Tibetan Printed Books”
Agnieszka Helman-Wazny

Recently posted on

Articles of interest to our readers:

Aurelia Campbell
“A Fifteenth-Century Sino-Tibetan Buddha Hall at the Lu Family Tusi.” Archives of Asian Art 65, 1-2 (2015): 87-115

Luca Maria Olivieri

Michelle C. Wang
Bookmarked by Bernard Faure
(2016) “The Thousand-armed Mañjuśrī at Dunhuang and Paired Images in Buddhist Visual Culture.” Archives of Asian Art 66.1: 81-105

Talk at Penn: Modern Japanese Buddhist Art

October 27, 2016, University of Pennsylvania

Modern Japanese Buddhist Art; Paula Arai, Louisiana State University; 3 p.m.; rm. 204, Claudia Cohen Hall (Religious Studies).


By Priyanka Das, Pune Mirror | Sep 28, 2016, 02.30 AM IST

The certificate course will help students get perspective beyond literary evidences, on socio-economic aspects and excavations

For the first time in the country, Deccan College will soon introduce a course on archaeology of Buddhism. The curriculum intends to bridge the gap between available Buddhist literature and archaeological evidences.

The four-month long certificate course was inspired by the works of Julia Shaw who carried out archaeological investigation of Sanchi and other Buddhist monuments in its vicinity as part of her theses at University of Cambridge from 1998 to 2001. Currently, she is a lecturer of South-Asian archaeology at the University College London.

“The course prepared by Shaw was a part of the MA in archaeology at the University of Cambridge in 2003. Deccan College’s course is inspired from her initiatives,” said Shrikant Ganvir, assistant professor in ancient Indian history and culture and course coordinator at the Deccan College.

The certificate course is being offered under the archaeology department. From next year onwards, the institute plans on starting two new departments namely the Buddhist archaeology department and heritage conservation department. The certificate course will then be offered under the Buddhist archaeology department for a semester.

Vasant Shinde, vice-chancellor of Deccan College, said, “In the field of archaeology, it is important to pay attention to physical evidences and not rely on just literary sources. Emphasis should be laid on gathering primary data as well.”

On the framework of the course, Ganvir explained that archaeology of religion is one of the branches of archaeological investigation. The curriculum will take students to Nalanda, Ratnagiri and Odisha for explorations. Continue reading


unnamedWednesday, September 28 @ 7:30 pm
Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University
Ackerman Hall, Level Three

In the Western world, buddhas and bodhisattvas are frequently used as carriers for advertising luxury goods, as objets d’art, and as body ornaments. In a lecture titled Buddha in a Shopping Bag, Martin Brauen, chief curator emeritus at the Rubin Museum of Art, explores such uses of sacred Buddhist images and ways in which contemporary artists are depicting and transforming Buddhist symbols.

This program is held in conjunction with the exhibition Family Album: New Work by Gonkar Gyatso in Collaboration with Photographer Zhadui. It is free and open to the Emory community and the public.

Parking is available at the Oxford Road and Fishburne Decks. On weekdays before 4:00 pm, accessible parking is available in the Oxford Road parking deck. Enter the Oxford Road building and take the elevator to top (Plaza) Level, and follow the accessible route path markers to the rear (Plaza Level) entrance of the museum. On weekends and after 4:00 pm daily, handicap accessible parking spaces are available on South Kilgo Circle, adjacent to the rear (Plaza Level) entrance to the museum. A government-issued hangtag must be displayed. Click here for a printable Emory parking map and accessible route to museum from Oxford Deck.

Master’s degree on ‘Museum Science and Buddha Collection’

Kathmandu, September 6
The Lumbini Buddhist University has introduced a new academic programme in Master’s degree on ‘Museum Science and Buddha Collection’ from this academic session. The programme lasts two year.

Likewise, the varsity will also launch a one year post graduate programme on ‘Archaeology and Buddhist Archaeological Site’, vice chancellor Dr Naresh Man Bajracharya said.


Recently Posted on

Some articles related to Buddhist art recently posted on


Elora Tribedy
Deccan College Post-Graduate Research Institute, Department of Archaeology, Graduate Student
A Study of Early Buddhist Art and Social Demography
Demographical data from Skeletal remains in case of ancient Indian population is scarcely available and in need of much future research. However, the immense information about ancient Indian population groups is available from art and literature. The early Buddhist art, with a theme more social than religious, offer us a window to look into a possibility of understanding the social demographic trends of the contemporary time. The mass of ancient Indian population, kings and queens, servants and soldiers, traders and forest tribes, are vibrant in early Buddhist art objects, such as…


Lisa Kochinski
Dimming Their Light to Mingle with the Dust: Wakō dōjin and Mujū’s Views on Kami and Buddhas in Book One of Shasekishū
This seminar paper examines tales from Mujū Ichien’s 無住一円 (1226–1312) Shasekishū (Collection of Sand and Pebbles) that expound the belief that buddhas and bodhisattvas, using expedient means, appear in Japan as kami to save people.



Tadeusz Skorupski
The Buddhist Stūpa: The Embodiment of the Immanent and Transcendent Buddha
The Buddhist stūpa constitutes the primary Buddhist monument that symbolically or truly embodies the Buddhist beliefs and teachings about the Buddha’s inherent nature and his unique presence in the world after his final demise. The landscapes of Asia are studded and scattered with countless stūpas of different sizes and appearances, all of which are unmistakable signs of the presence of Buddhism. Dilapidated and ruined stūpas are reminiscent of the past vitality and eminence of Buddhism, and renovated and newly constructed stūpas attest to its invigorating endurance and continuity. As such…


Takako Hashimoto
Siddham Script in the University of Tokyo Manuscript of the Chinese Version of Ārya-Mahā-Māyūrī Vidyā-Rājñī

Wen-Shing Chou
Imperial Apparitions: Manchu Buddhism and the Cult of Mañjuśrī

Talk – Buddhist Art in Dunhuang and the Silk Road in China

Sep 05, 2016
(07:00 PM )

India Habitat Centre (IHC)
Lodhi Road , Delhi

Buddhist Art in Dunhuang and the Silk Road in China Speaker: Dr.Anu Jindal, Artist-Art Historian, shares insights of a recent visit to the Mogao Grottoes in Dunhuang, a UNESCO world heritage site, on the edge of the Gobi desert. Prof. Lokesh Chandra, President, ICCR, will throw light on the Dunhuang artefacts. Chair: Suresh Jindal, filmmaker & writer, will make introductory remarks on Buddhism.


BOOK: The Museum on the Roof of the World

9780226213170The Museum on the Roof of the World
University of California Press
328 pages | 19 color plates, 50 halftones, 1 line drawing | 7 x 10 | © 2012

For millions of people around the world, Tibet is a domain of undisturbed tradition, the Dalai Lama a spiritual guide. By contrast, the Tibet Museum opened in Lhasa by the Chinese in 1999 was designed to reclassify Tibetan objects as cultural relics and the Dalai Lama as obsolete. Suggesting that both these views are suspect, Clare E. Harris argues in The Museum on the Roof of the World that for the past one hundred and fifty years, British and Chinese collectors and curators have tried to convert Tibet itself into a museum, an image some Tibetans have begun to contest. This book is a powerful account of the museums created by, for, or on behalf of Tibetans and the nationalist agendas that have played out in them.

Harris begins with the British public’s first encounter with Tibetan culture in 1854. She then examines the role of imperial collectors and photographers in representations of the region and visits competing museums of Tibet in India and Lhasa. Drawing on fieldwork in Tibetan communities, she also documents the activities of contemporary Tibetan artists as they try to displace the utopian visions of their country prevalent in the West, as well as the negative assessments of their heritage common in China. Illustrated with many previously unpublished images, this book addresses the pressing question of who has the right to represent Tibet in museums and beyond.


List of Illustrations

1 The Tibet Museum in the West
2 The Younghusband Mission and Tibetan Art
3 Picturing Tibet for the Imperial Archive
4 Photography and the Politics of Memory
5 The Tibet Museum in Exile
6 The Tibet Museum in Lhasa
7 The Invention of Tibetan Contemporary Art
8 The Buddha Goes Global

A Note on Languages


“Oxford anthropologist Harris provides a highly readable discussion of the ways in which political power has shaped perceptions of Tibet and its material culture, and how contemporary Tibetans are appropriating the ‘soft power’ of art as a political tool. . . . Highly recommended.”
“Written with elegance, clarity and passionate objectivity . . . Harris takes us from skull drums and thangkas to New Buddhism and the world of contemporary Tibetan artists at home and in exile, explicating the crisis of Tibetan identity and culture. Harris gives us a highly focused contribution to the discourse on the postcolonial world that is also a pleasure to read.”
Asian Ethnologist
“Clare Harris’s works are consistently novel and full of unique ironic twists and marvelous insight, a treat for the world-weary on roads far too traveled. Innovation and creativity are rare in modern Tibet studies, so it is with eager anticipation that one should always approach Harris’s writings. The reader ofThe Museum on the Roof of the World will not be disappointed. She is as magical in this book as reindeer flying through the skies and as entertaining as Santa squeezing through the chimney.”
“Harris’ account of Tibetan contemporary art is by far the most comprehensive and incisive published to date. . . . The Museum on the Roof of the World is a book that richly rewards the reader, including those who have made it their business to study Tibet, its history, and its culture, with new and fascinating insights.”
The Museum on the Roof of the World is a welcome addition to the literature on museums and nationalism, and makes a substantial contribution to our understanding of how the leadership of the modern Chinese state used European imperialist techniques, like building museums, to gain control of the multi-ethnic Qing territories.”
Art Bulletin
“Exceptionally original and superlative in terms of the sheer range of its research materials, the sensitivity of its approach and content, the nuanced style of the writing, and its contributions to various theoretical concerns. . . . Harris’s book is a remarkable work that reveals how one state and its culture can have changing and even multiple identities when placed in different national and political contexts over time.”
Jamyang Norbu, author of Mandala of Sherlock Holmes and Shadow Tibet
“A fascinating study of how Tibet’s art and imagery was pressed into the service of two imperial powers, Britain and Communist China, to provide the rationalizations for their respective ‘missions civilisatrice’ into Tibet—the Younghusband expedition of 1904, and China’s ‘Peaceful Liberation’ of 1950 and ongoing occupation. Clare E. Harris’s instructive art history does not lack in entertaining anecdotes and arcana, of which ‘the Skull of Confucius’ alone is worth the price of the book.”
Robert Linrothe, Northwestern University
The Museum on the Roof of the World overturns old stereotypes, makes new discoveries, and is filled with insights about the many sad ironies in the historical experience of Tibet between the late eighteenth century and the present. Clare E. Harris knows Tibet, its history and culture, contemporary life of Tibetans in exile, and Tibetans still in the Tibet Autonomous Region. She strikes a wonderful balance between generalized observations and detailed explication, successfully documenting the aims of Tibetan museums and revealing the dubious claims of ownership of Tibetan art. Well illustrated and accessible, this book will appeal to audiences in critical museology, Tibetology, history of photography, anthropology, and postcolonial studies.”
Patricia Berger, University of California, Berkeley
“In The Museum on the Roof of the World, Clare E. Harris provides a coherent, wonderfully readable, gripping account of the modern encounter with Tibet, in which she brings together a wealth of detail couched in a rhetorical framework of postcolonialist anthropology and museology. This is an important, original book with a timely focus.”