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WOODEN WONDERS: Tibetan Furniture in Secular and Religious Life

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WOODEN WONDERS: Tibetan Furniture in Secular and Religious Life

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WOODEN WONDERS: Tibetan Furniture in Secular and Religious Life

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(Various Contributors) Edited by David Kamansky. Wooden Wonders: Tibetan Furniture in Secular and Religious Life. Pasadena / Chicago: Pacific Asia Museum / Serindia Publications. 2004.

First Edition. Hardcover. 4to. Bound in red cloth with gilt stamping to front and spine. 360 pages. With 148 color images. A FINE COPY IN A FINE DUST JACKET

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This large volume is the catalogue of an exhibition opening which took place in November 2004 at the Pacific Asia Museum in Pasadena, California. Encompassing masterpieces of Tibetan furniture design and decoration in all its forms, the 148 exhibits are drawn from the large group of public and private collections in the western United States, the result of an active interest in the preservation and research of this long overlooked Tibetan art form. This particular catalogue does not merely follow the genre’s traditional format but seeks to communicate both the aesthetic significance of these exceptional works of art and the important role they have played over the centuries in the daily and spiritual lives of the people of Tibet. The works in the exhibition, therefore, were selected both for their aesthetic and historical importance, and most are being publicly displayed for the first time. All are lavishly illustrated in color, and each is accompanied by details of type, date (supported in several cases by Carbon 14 testing), dimensions and description of decoration and materials. The exhibition and catalogue were developed by an extraordinary team of curators, scholars, and writers led by David Kamansky of the Pacific Asia Museum. Wooden Wonders presents eleven articles from this team ranging from Luca Corona and Camilla Hulse Corona’s comprehensive survey of Tibetan furniture types and methods of construction and decoration to more specialist discussions such as Dale Gluckman’s article on textile patterns in the furniture’s painted decoration and Geshe Lobzang Tsetan’s and Kathleen Kernell's elucidation of the ritual uses to which some of the furniture was put. The glossary that closes the book provides for the first time a review of the terminology associated with Tibetan furniture.