Portals to Shangri-La: Masterpieces from Buddhist Mongolia

February 12 – August 6, 2006

11. Arhat DamdinrauThis exhibition marks the 800th anniversary of Genghis Khan’s founding of the United Mongolian State. The exhibition focuses on Mongolia’s image as a portal to the mystical land of Shambala, the source of James Hilton’s concept of Shangri-La. These works by Mongolian masters are considered to be tunnels or portals to a higher reality.

This exhibition was to have come from the Zanabazar Mongolia National Fine Arts Museum. However, on January 13, 2006, Mongolia’s government collapsed, and this has prevented any of the artwork from leaving the country. The exhibition will now include works primarily from the personal collection of Donald and Shelley Rubin, founders of the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Mr. Rubin, who is a 1956 alumnus of Oglethorpe University, immediately stepped in to help his alma mater present an exhibition of Mongolian art. Glenn Mullin, who organized both of these exhibitions, also worked quickly to obtain works from various collectors in the United States, as well as works from his own personal collection, to be included in this exhibition.