Museum on the Roof of the World Art, Politics, and the Representation of Tibet

ISBN-10: 0226317471
ISBN-13: 9780226317472
Edition: 2012
Authors: Clare E. Harris
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Description: For millions of people around the world, Tibet is a domain of undisturbed tradition, the Dalai Lama a spiritual guide. By contrast, the Tibet Museum opened in Lhasa by the Chinese in 1999 was designed to reclassify Tibetan objects as cultural relics  More...

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Book details

List price: $52.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 10/30/2012
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Size: 7.25" wide x 10.25" long x 1.50" tall
Weight: 1.848

For millions of people around the world, Tibet is a domain of undisturbed tradition, the Dalai Lama a spiritual guide. By contrast, the Tibet Museum opened in Lhasa by the Chinese in 1999 was designed to reclassify Tibetan objects as cultural relics and the Dalai Lama as obsolete. Suggesting that both these views are suspect, Clare E. Harris argues inThe Museum on the Roof of the Worldthat for the past one hundred and fifty years, British and Chinese collectors and curators have tried to convert Tibet itself into a museum, an image some Tibetans have begun to contest. This bookis a powerful account of the museums created by, for, or on behalf of Tibetans and the nationalist agendas that have played out in them. Harris begins with the British public’s first encounter with Tibetan culture in 1854. She then examines the role of imperial collectors and photographers in representations of the region and visits competing museums of Tibet in India and Lhasa. Drawing on fieldwork in Tibetan communities, she also documents the activities of contemporary Tibetan artists as they try to displace the utopian visions of their country prevalent in the West, as well as the negative assessments of their heritage common in China. Illustrated with many previously unpublished images, this book addresses the pressing question of who has the right to represent Tibet in museums and beyond.

List of Illustrations
Introduction
The Tibet Museum in the West
The Younghusband Mission and Tibetan Art
Picturing Tibet for the Imperial Archive
Photography and the Politics of Memory
The Tibet Museum in Exile
The Tibet Museum in Lhasa
The Invention of Tibetan Contemporary Art
The Buddha Goes Global
Acknowledgments
A Note on Languages
Notes
References
Index

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