Spiritual Art Has Become An Escape For Many During These Tough Times
Whether you are ten years old or 80, the world always seems like a confusing place! As you grow old, you find it confusing for different reasons, such as the time when you were young, the worst thing that could happen to you was to lose your favorite pen, but when you grow up, the worst thing you can think of is homelessness. Despite all the struggles that life throws at you, you often find solace in a friend or a loved one giving you a new pen or someone supporting you when you need it the most. Life for many people has taken a difficult turn after the pandemic hit; some lost their jobs, homes, and livelihoods, while others lost their loved ones or suffered medically. Many people found peace and calm in the artwork, especially at museums.
The History Behind It
It all starts with the oldest Tibetan art collection that entered the United States of America in New Jersey at the start of the 19th century. It was Edward N. Crane, the founding trustee of the Newark Museum of Art, who met with Dr. Albert L. Shelton, a medical missionary. Dr. Shelton, at the time. He recently returned from a trip to Tibet and China, where he collected various artifacts and objects like Buddhist ritual instruments, sacred books, and religious paintings that dated back to the border war between the two countries. Crane saw this as the perfect opportunity to host a special exhibition. It took place in early 1911 and was a great success!
A Separate Section
After the Newark Museum of Art had already received such prestigious and sacred items, the museum felt it was best to also install the Tibetan Buddhist alter, which was considered sacred, as announced by Dalai Lama. The mesmerizing altar sits in the museum, surrounded by delicate images and statues of Buddha and his teachings. All those looking to indulge in the experience of spirituality can find this section on the third floor of the museum in the north wing.
A Peaceful Place
The altar plays a much more important role than one might think; it is not only a historical display of religious items of ancient origins but also sheds light on Buddhist religious rituals and allows the viewer to feel a sense of profound contemplation. Even the offerings that are placed on the altar are considered to be holy. But, the question is: how does this help the people of today? During times of trauma, loss, and challenged objective reality, people found safe spaces in locations like these that provide an accepting and compassionate outlook on life and make room for self-reflection. After dealing with two years of unexpected circumstances and stress, the museum’s direction explains that since Buddhism is closely based on promoting well-being, it is a perfect place to resort to when they feel conflicted.
Museums are the best place to look at history and see how the world has prevailed despite all the setbacks.
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