The New School

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Working closely with the New School academic community, we are providing faculty and students opportunities to engage deeply with Himalayan art, culture and sacred traditions. For the past four years, specially designed courses at Eugene Lang College have connected the museum’s collection and special exhibitions to students in unique ways.

2012 – 2013 Academic Year

Partner Benefits

All students, faculty, staff, and alumni may visit the museum for free for one year (August 1, 2012 – July 31, 2013) by showing a valid university or alumni ID at the Admissions desk.


February – Mudras do Matter

2012-2013 Related Courses

Spring 2013

LARS 2870 Himalayan Art and Culture: Tibet, Mongolia, and Bhutan
Adam Swart

This course introduces students to the rich artistic and cultural heritages of Himalayan Tibet, Mongolia, and Bhutan. These places, some of the most remote corners of the world, have for centuries been creating masterpieces of aesthetic and religious significance. Through observation, research, and critical thinking, students learn to distinguish works of art based on their specific geographical region and art historical time period. The course provides the students with a profound understanding of and appreciation for the iconography, symbolism, content, and meaning found within the images. Various art-making processes and art materials are also discussed. This course includes several field trips to the Rubin Museum of (Himalayan) Art. 4 credits

LEDU Arts in Urban Education
Marcos Stafne

The last few years of educational reform have placed a dramatic emphasis on student and teacher accountability in math and reading to the point of eliminating core classes in the arts for K-12 students. This course will explore historical and current trends in the arts in urban education (using New York City as a case study), and their place in an agenda of greater educational change. Through study of inter-disciplinary understandings of imagination, creativity, and innovation, we will consider implications for teaching, learning, and program development in a world where arts education should be afforded to every student. This course will also examine how cultural arts organizations such as museums, studio centers, theatres and music facilities interact with schools and other institutions. 4 credits

LINA 2022 Sacred Symbols: Agents of Creativity, Healing, and Transformation
Laura Lombard

This course will examine a select group of symbols as agents of creativity, healing, and transformation within the context of ancient myths, sacred traditions, and popular culture. Considering such pervasive symbols as the Great Mother, Hero/Heroine, Trickster, World Tree, and Mandala, we will follow a two-step investigative process: first, identify the symbol within its traditional and/or sacred cultural context, as seen through the eyes of the artists, shamans, healers, and guides who made them; second, explore the same symbol from an archetypal perspective by applying the theories of Carl Gustav Jung, the founder of Analytical Psychology. In the process, we will engage the interpretative disciplines of Comparative Religion, Cultural Anthropology, and Analytical Psychology, by visiting museums, watching films, exploring dream content, and making artwork. Throughout the course, we will reflect on the teleological function of symbols throughout time and across disparate cultures, and ways they manifest in contemporary culture and within our own lives.

LREL 3067 Buddhism and Cognitive Science
Christopher Kelly  

This course is designed to explore and critically evaluate the central concepts and theories that are at the intersection between Buddhism and cognitive science. Students will examine seminal books and articles from the fields of social and clinical psychology, moral philosophy, phenomenology, neuroscience, and Buddhist studies. This course will touch on themes within those disciplines such as: intersubjectivity, the empathy-altruism hypothesis, the nature of self and other, the application of experimental methods to study of human emotions and behavior, and meditation. In addition to regular exams and writings assignments, students will have the opportunity to experiment with various techniques of meditation. 4 credits

LWEL 2130 Buddhist Meditation
Ciprian Ianculovici     

This course examines the origins, history, philosophy, and benefits of Buddhist meditation. Students learn the fundamentals of developing a meditation practice with the goal of learning how to apply these principles to their everyday life. 2 credits

Fall 2012

LARS 2027 Responding to Non-Western Art
Susan Hambleton

Non-Western art has been a rich and continuous resource for the creative mind since the end of the 19th Century. This course has a three-fold function. The first is to expand the student’s understanding of this aesthetic, spiritual, societal, and political force. The second is to demonstrate non-Western art as a vehicle for modern Western creators.  This is accomplished through 4 museum lectures, readings, and classroom discussions.  Lastly, students work in the studio in response to what they’ve seen.  Three projects achieved over the semester provide ample opportunity to merge this extraordinary spiritual world with the student’s unique and creative ideas.

LARS 2871 Himalayan Buddhist Visual Culture
Adam Swart

Exploring the imagery presented by and representative of the Himalayan world, this course investigates meaning as invested in Buddhist images and the ways in which these images are seen. Thinking through the role of visual forms in the broad Himalayan cultural setting of Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, and Northern India, we seek to contextualize Buddhist imagery in its relationship to text, sacred space and time, pilgrimage, deity, and ritual life in order to reveal the power and language of imagery within this visual culture. Special attention will be given to contemplative and mystical processes of “seeing” and the imaginative and iconographic symbolism revealed by the Himalayan Buddhist visionary traditions. Classes will address historical and philosophical understandings of art and the purpose of Buddhist imagery, cross-cultural interpretations of reading visual representation, how religious imagery has shaped popular Western conceptions of the Himalaya, and contemporary transformations of this visual culture.

LREL 2030 Religions of South Asia
Christopher Kelley

Exploring the plurality of religious expression in South Asia, this course examines the philosophical, creative, and contemplative life of Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism and Islam. Special attention is given to themes of power, knowledge, and liberation within each tradition. In class discussions are concerned with questions about existence, the nature of consciousness, and the path of spiritual transformation at intersection with the art, ritual, yoga, mythology and literature found in the rich religious matrix of South Asia. Readings draw from seminal texts in translation.

LREL 3068 Buddhism and Gender
Dominique Townsend

This course explores the role of gender in Buddhist practice and doctrine. How do sex and gender shape women and men’s access to Buddhist teachings, experiences, and worldviews? Students look at the complex and potentially problematic relationships between Buddhist philosophy and Buddhist institutions, taking into account a broad spectrum of perspectives, both historical and contemporary. Engaging the work of scholars, visionaries, artists, monks and nuns, the class engages written and visual materials from India, China, Japan, Tibet, and the West. All materials will be in English. There are no language or other prerequisites.

2011 – 2012 Academic Year

The New School Writes About The Rubin



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