A lively group of Baruch College students participated in a training workshop at the Museum last Wednesday. The group of twelve upperclassmen will serve as Peer Mentors for their incoming Freshmen peers this fall as part of an engaging peer-to-peer learning program at Baruch. The program provides stipends to students who have strong leadership skills and interest in exploring the arts and culture of New York City. During their visit, the students learned how to lead groups through the galleries and got a taste of some of the key figures and symbols portrayed in Himalayan Asian art.
As part of the workshop, the students explored a number of touch objects we use in the galleries during tours, such as long sticks of animal skin glue, pictured above. When the sticks are dissolved in warm water, the clear liquid is mixed with dry pigments to make paint for traditional paintings in the Himalayan region.
The metal vajra, a small hand scepter, and the bell, seen above, symbolize the union of skillful action and wisdom respectively, and are frequently used in Tibetan Buddhist rituals.
After inspecting and discussing the objects, the students were intrigued to discover the same artifacts portrayed in the traditional sculptures and paintings in the galleries during our afternoon tour. They were particularly blown away by our newly redesigned shrine room.
If you haven’t seen the intricate paintings, sculptures, and furniture in the shrine room, beautifully lit by electric butter lamps, accompanied by the sounds of Tibetan Buddhist monks chanting, the experience is not to be missed!