Museums >Rubin Museum Of Art
150 W 17th St, New York, NY | Directions 1001140.740019 -73.997796
Mon&Thu: 11am�5pm Wed: 11am�7pm Fri: 11am�10 pm Sat&Sun: 11am�6 pm The museum is closed on Tuesdays, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year's Day.
Neighborhoods: Chelsea, Midtown
Divine House of Himalayan Art – Your pilgrimage to the Rubin Museum of Art in Chelsea to see the largest collection of Himalayan Art in the West will leave you elevated. Begin your journey on the second floor and learn about the methods used to create the art on display: a step-by-step outline of Nepalese hollow metal casting and embossing breaks down the process. One of the most commendable aspects of this museum is the manner in which the information is presented. The exhibits are deconstructed by numbered diagrams and charts to explain a deeper meaning. This is both helpful and necessary given the highly symbolic and esoteric nature of art from this region. Ascend upwards and visit each of the Museum
A pleasant surprise – This museum is completely unlike any other in the city. The art on display, in addition to being visually delightful, takes you to one of the most remote places on earth and shows how the people there not only lived and worshiped but also how they forged a cosmopolitan culture despite relative isolation.
Unlike more mainstream museums, which turn you loose on the work assuming you have a basic knowledge of what you're looking at, the Rubin assumes you know next to nothing about the art of the Himalayan Mountains (which was completely accurate in my case).
Its only permanent exhibit explains not only the culture and religions of the area but teaches you how to interpret what you're seeing. You learn how to recognize individual figures and also understand the compositions. (Most of the work at the museum is heavily religious and heavily ritualistic, so a basic introduction is enough to let you see what's going on in many, many works.)
Everything else in the museum is on rotating display. Most of the works come from the Rubin collection, but I have yet to see any repeats. I'm assuming it's a pretty big collection.
My only complaint concerns the live tours. I've tried two and both of them were lousy. The tour guides were both the sort of spacey people who take up Buddhism in comedy films, not the sort who can explain things in clear and compelling language. Also, both tour guides allowed the two or three people in the groups who knew something of Buddhism to hijack the discussions with endless questions about arcane details. Use the audio guide.
Himalayan Museum-Meets-Worldly Beats Lounge – On the cusp of New York's hip Meatpacking District and artsy Chelsea playland lies a modern six-floor Himalayan art museum.
Sleek, modern and accessible (just steps from Union Square), the Rubin lets brainiacs can square away their South East Asian curiosities, but the best part -- the main floor's K2 Lounge.
K2, like you didn't know this already, is the world's second highest mountain, right smack between China and Pakistan. But don't expect the lounge to evoke your inner nature lover. With sleek wood floors, spiral staircases, and cool modern lighting, K2 throws one of the "smartest" happy hours around - worldly DJs in tow.
Pass the bar's stealth Greek columns, blue-lit ceilings, and ecofriendly votives to head up or downstairs to view more exhibits. Small talk has plenty of fodder with the action of K2's wraparound balcony, while Kanye West beats create a great ambiance for browsing through the adjacent gift shop. How's that for a bar distraction? Handmade crafts and clothing, East Asian books, cards and dolls.
Friday night happy hour starts at 6 p.m. - perfect for the corporate youth who want to nosh on Naan pizza or Tibetan appetizers for just $8 to $10.
Still accessing the wallet status? Happy hour ends at 7, but the museum is free after that, and stays open until 10 p.m. The lighting is dim and the museum is compact, 'cause the most taxing thing you need on a Friday night is deciding which smarty to ask out at the bar.
User review by christophergirl – This place is gorgeous: the spiral staircase, the jewel-tone walls, the cafe. Great weekend program, especially for my kids.
See detailed stories in the form of paintings in one of the biggest collections of Himalayan art in the world. – The Scene
The spiral staircase that winds down the center of the spacious, six-storied former Barney's building reminded Himalayan art enthusiast, Donald Rubin of the cyclical Budhist thought process, so he turned the space into a museum for one of the biggest Himalayan art collections in the world.
The 1,500 piece collection includes paintings (thangkas), sculptures and textiles from countries throughout the Himalayas including Bhuttan, Nepal, Tibet, India and China, as well as a few pieces from other parts of the world. The thangkas, which take up the most space, are elaborate epic stories that were painted with ground minerals by students at monastaries between the 12th and 19th centuries. Although painted with the naked eye, the pictures are full of tiny, intricate details, so magnifying glasses are on hand for a close-up look. Knowledgeable guides walk around every floor to answer questions, and help promt guests' imaginations.
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