Jeff Watt

  • Who hijacked Himalayan art? Or any art, for that matter? Paid Member

    Himalayan Art Resources (HAR) is the most comprehensive collection of Himalayan art available, much of it Buddhist. For years now, Jeff Watt, HAR's director, has been exhorting us to understand and critique Himalayan art on its own merit—much as we might consider, say, a Fra Angelico—and rescue it from the theory-laden university art history departments. For support, Jeff refers us to to an article in yesterday's New York Times, in which Laurence Kantner, an expert in early Italian painting and former curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has this to say: More »
  • Paintings of the 10th Karmapa Paid Member

    Himalayan Art Resources' Jeff Watt writes: Probably one of the most famous Tibetan contemporary artists of his time was the 10th Karmapa, Choying Dorje (1604-1674). Take a look. More »
  • Wrong, wrong, wrong! Paid Member

    Himalayan Art Resources' Jeff Watt couldn't be more emphatic: Art for art's sake is as old as Tibet—in fact, far older. So you can imagine how ticked off the Tibetan iconography expert was when he read this at artdaily.org: There is no Tibetan equivalent for the word “art” as it is known in the West. The closest approximation is lha dri pa, literally, “to draw a deity.” Traditionally, neither the Tibetan language nor the Tibetan cultural framework has recognized art for art’s sake, and an artist’s efficacy rests in his ability to precisely replicate an established visual language and portray the essence of a particular deity. (Artdaily.org). More »
  • Want to go to China for free? Paid Member

    ...Then follow Himalayan Art Resource's director Jeff Watt as he blogs his way through the Middle Kingdom! Read his daily reports from China's museums, universities and Buddhist temples. From his April 3rd blog post, Yesterday morning we left early to travel to the Dazu Grotto. The Sichuan University provided a car and driver for our use. The grottoes are about 300 kilometers north of Chengdu. Dazu is the name of the city/town closest to the different stone carving grotto sites. Dazu means big foot, or big feet. The plural is not made clear in Chinese for this place name. We ate lunch in the town prior to going to the site which I later learned was actually multiple sites. More »