Conservation in Action: Tibetan Tara Paintings

In late 2020, conservators began examination and research of three paintings from Tibet. Each depicts a form of Tara, a female buddha from the pantheon of Tibetan Buddhism, seated within a paradisiacal landscape. The paintings, each about 26 by 18 inches, were mounted as panels and framed in the 1910s, but were originally intended as paintings on cloth that could be hung in a temple or shrine and rolled for storage when not in use. With generous support from Bank of America, not only will cleaning and stabilization of the paintings be possible, but conservators can now also investigate how to remount them in a manner that is closer to their original state as thangkas, or scroll paintings. Before decisions are made about format, conservators and curators will need to understand more about how, for whom, and why the paintings were created. The relevance of the objects today will also be explored in dialogue with specialists in iconography, Tibetan artists and teachers, and conservators treating Himalayan paintings at other institutions.

Introduction to the Tibetan Tara Paintings Conservation Project

Conservation and Collections Management
Sunday, August 8, 2021
Within Tibetan Buddhism, Tara is a buddha and a divine mother. She takes many different forms to come to the aid of beings in need, and she can be…


Additional support from the Jane Mayer and Robert J. Mayer, M.D. Fund and the MFA Associates / MFA Senior Associates Fund for Conservation Programs.