Protecting Wisdom: Tibetan Book Covers from the MacLean Collection is the first major exhibition to examine the subject of Tibetan book covers. For Tibetan Buddhists, books are a divine presence in which the Buddha lives and reveals himself, and they are venerated and handled with the utmost respect. The exhibition features thirty-three book covers dating from the eleventh to the eighteenth century that represent the glorious iconographic array and non-figural decoration typical of these sacred items. The majority of covers in the exhibition are Tibetan Buddhist, but the exhibition also includes a rare Bon-religion cover and two covers from Mongolia, as well as an important pair of covers produced circa 1411 for the Chinese Ming emperor Yongle. Protecting Wisdom presents a stunning visual display that illuminates a virtually unknown type of art, one that will charm and intrigue both those familiar and unfamiliar with Tibetan art.
This exhibition was organized by the MacLean Collection and guest curated by Kathryn Selig Brown.