This extraordinary site from the Himalayan Art Project of the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation "seeks to preserve the sacred art of the Himalayas." The Website features a searchable database of over 1,000 Tibetan Buddhist thangkas (sacred paintings and mandalas) dating from the twelfth to the nineteenth century, photographic exhibits of contemporary Tibet and its monasteries as well as photos of Tibetan culture prior to the invasion of the Communists, and extensive textual descriptions, supplemented with works from the database, of Tibetan religious history and culture. The images can be examined in detail through directional manipulation and a zoom option. Finally, the Website offers links to two texts studying Tibetan religious imagery: a partial version of Worlds of Transformation: Tibetan Art of Wisdom and Compassion and a complete online edition in .pdf format of Lamaism in Sikhism, a well illustrated text from a British observer of Tibetan Sikh culture at the turn of the last century. A brief, annotated list of high quality links rounds out the site. The images in the database and the books can be viewed in Java or non-Java versions. (Both allow users to examine the images in detail, but the Java version provides much better resolutions on extreme close-ups.) The Website also offers the option of Flash or non-Flash introductory pages, but we did not find any significant content difference on this score.
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