Recent Lectures

"Questions of Authenticity, Buddhist art from Gandhara and Tibet", International Association of Buddhist Studies, University of Vienna, Austria, 18th to 23rd August 2014.

“The Alchi Sumtsek as a Transitional Monument” at a workshop on The Date of the Alchi Sumtsek Murals: 11th or 13th Century? at Northwestern University (April 4–5), 4th April 2014.

“Beneficial to See: Early Tibetan Painting of the Drigung Kagyu School”, at the invitation of the Asian Art Council, Art Institute of Chicago, 3rd April 2014.

“Turning the Wheel: On the Exegetical Aspect of Buddhist Imagery”, contribution to the section on "Image as Map and Territory: Tibetan Buddhist Mandalas, Deities, and Tantric Visualization Practices" organized by Sara McClintock as part of the Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar Program "Visual Exegesis: Images as Instruments of Scriptural Interpretation and Hermeneutics", Emory University, 27th January 2014.

“Beneficial to See: New Observations on Early Drigung Painting”, at the Third International SEECHAC Colloquium on the topic “Interaction in the Himalayas and Central Asia. Processes of Transfer, Translation and Transformation in Art, Archaeology, Religion and Polity from Antiquity to the Present Day” at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna, 25th to 27th November 2013.

“Masterpieces of Tibetan and Nepalese Art: Recent Acquisitions from the Zimmerman Collection” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 24th September 2013.

“Tibetische Malerei als religiöses Objekt” Schweizerisch-Indische Gesellschaft, Basel, 18th September 2013.

“Reading the Lines of Buddhist Art” keynote address on “Reading Outside the Lines, A Workshop on the Intersection of Buddhist Art and Texts”, Munich, 13th–15th September 2013.

“Verkörperung: frühe tibetische Malerei als Objekt”, hearing lecture, University of Vienna, 3rd July 2013.

“Colorful Reflections in a Mirror of Void, Early Tibetan Buddhist Art” annual Rudelson Lecture at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, 3rd May 2013.

“Chronology and Geography of Western ‘Influence’ in Gandharan Sculpture” at a workshop on “Gandhara Connections: Classical Traditions in Gandharan Art”, University of Oxford, Wolfson College, 10th to 12th April 2013.

“Tibetan Art between East and West” and a Pecha Kucha on the exhibition project “The Legacy of Giuseppe Tucci” at the 2013 Forum of the American Curators of Asian Art (ACAA) at the Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art in Gainsville, Florida, 24th to 26th February 2013.

“Mustang, Gateway to Tibet” in the series Chao Lectures on Buddhist Art. Co-sponsored by Ho Center for Buddhist Studies at Stanford and Stanford Continuing Studies, Stanford, 1st December 2012.

“Inspired by the Past: the art of Choying Dorje and Western Himalayan sculpture” at the international conference on “The Tenth Karmapa and Tibet’s Turbulent 17th Century” organised by and held at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 10th November 2012.

“Cave of Mahāsiddhas” at the Fifth International Conference on Tibetan Archaeology & Arts (ICTAA V) in Beijing (Shunyi), 2nd October, 2012.

“Conservation and Research in Buddhist Art: Questions of Ethics, Documentation and Reconstruction from a Practical Research Perspective” at the Buddhist Art Forum, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, 11th to 14th April 2012.

“The Buddha Beyond, Figuration in Gandharan Cult Imagery”, Harvard University, 19th March 2012.
Presented in a popular version at the Indigo Gallery, Kathmandu, 1st June 2012.

“Dimensions of Sacred Space: Mandalas in early Tibetan Buddhist art and architecture” public lecture, Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, 22nd January 2012.
Also presented at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, 4th September 2012.

“Tibetan Buddhist Art: Mandala” an introductory university lecture on mandalas based “On the Earliest Mandalas in a Buddhist Context”, Emory University, 23rd January 2012.

Visuals

I do like to give lectures, but I also take too much time for preparing them. To me, as an art-historian, the visuals are an integral and equally important part of a lecture, and their preparation and integration with the spoken may take more time than writing the lecture itself. I, thus, do hope that I am known for my visually rich presentations by now.

Stimulation

I always found it stimulating to be asked to talk about a subject that is not directly related to my research, but certainly can’t take the time to bring it into a publishable format.

“Wanla, Implications from the Study of an Early Encyclopedic Monument”, TBRC/Rubin Foundation scholars seminar, New York, 17th November 2011.

“Changing Conceptions: Gandharan Art and Buddhism”, Asia Society, New York, 12th September 2011.

Together with Paul Harrison: “New Light on (and from) the Mohammad Nari Stele” in an International Symposium on Pure Land Buddhism as a pre-event of the Fifteenth Biennial Conference of the International Association of Shin Buddhist Studies (IASBS) organized by the Ryukoku University Research Center for Buddhist Cultures in Asia (BARC) at Otani University, Kyoto, 4th August 2011.

Muhammad Nari Stele

Bodhisattvas, detail of the Muhammad Nari Stele, Lahore Museum (CL07 D5790)

“Tradition, Connoisseurship and Style: Tibetan taxonomies, their background, and their implications for a classification of Tibetan art” in a panel chaired by Melissa R. Kerin, College of William and Mary; Rob Linrothe, Northwestern University, on “What’s in a Name? Reconsidering Tibetan Stylistic Taxonomies” at the the CAA Conference, New York, 9th February 2011.

“Afghanistan und die Anfänge der Seidenstraßen”, lecture at the occasion of the exhibition “Afghanistan. Gerettete Schätze”, Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn, 30th June 2010.

“Gandharan Art and Buddhism”, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, 11th April 2010.

Together with David Jackson, Tibetan art workshop on “Portraiture and Lineage Paintings” University of California at Berkeley, 12th March 2010.

Together with Paul Harrison, “The Riddle of the Mohammad Nari Stele”, Silk Road Buddhism lecture at Stanford University, 4th March 2010.

“The Tibetan Buddhist Mandala and Its Evolution”, TT & WF Chao Lectures on Buddhist Art and Continuing Studies lecture, Stanford University, 30th January 2010.

“From Vairocana to Akṣobhya: The Early Development of Alchi Monastery, Ladakh”, Tibetan Studies lecture at Stanford University, 21st January 2010.

Alchi Monastery

Alchi Monastery in Spring 1994 (CL94 18,36, WHAV)

2005 to 2010

“Peripheral for All: Mapping Gandharan Art in History” at Horizonte - ‚Grundbegriffe’ einer globalen Kunst- und Bildwissenschaft, Ludwig-Maximilans-Universität, Munich, 12th–14th November 2009.

“Eight Great Siddhas. Depictions of the Eight Great Adepts in Early Tibetan Paintings (c. 1200 to c. 1350)”, Numata lecture, McMaster University, 30th October 2009.

“Inconceivably Remote Future Accessible Now. The Bodhisattva and Future Buddha Maitreya during the Kuṣāṇa Period”, Numata lecture, University of Toronto at Mississauga, 29th October 2009.
and in a further developed variant:
2009-2010 Numata Lecture at University of California at Berkeley, 20th April 2010 and
Numata Colloquium Series lecture at University of California at Los Angeles, 7th May 2010.

“The Diffusion of Gandharan and Indian Models in Asia” conference on the “Intercultural Encounters in the Hellenized Orient”, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, 28th–30th September 2009.

“Die Kunst Gandharas und der Buddhismus” Schweizerisch-Indische Gesellschaft Basel, 23rd September 2009;
also at the Volkshochschule des Kantons Zürich, 24th September 2009.

“Gandhara - das buddhistische Erbe Pakistans” introductory lecture to an exhibit of the same name at the Kunst und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Bonn, Germany, 19th and 20th November 2008;
also in Berlin, Germany, 9th April 2009.

Together with Holger Neuwirth: “The development of the Alchi Temple Complex. Architecture and Art History” XVth Congress of the International Association of Buddhist Studies Emory University, Atlanta, 23rd–28th June 2008.

“The Stupa of Kanganhalli. An Introduction to a New Find” UCSB Religious Studies, 9th May 2008.

Alchi Monastery

Cirumambulation path and ayaka platform of the Kanganhalli stupa in 2000 (CL00 36,29, WHAV)

“On the Lotus-Born Buddha Padmasambhava” Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 5th May 2008.

“Towards Tibetan Art” South Asian Studies Council, MacMillian Center, Yale University, 5th March 2008.

“On the Earliest Mandalas in a Buddhist Context” South Asian Studies Council, MacMillian Center, Yale University, 4th March 2008.

“Buddhismus im multikulturellen Umfeld. Die Kunst Gandharas” Studientag of the Institute of Art History at Free University, Berlin, 25th January 2008.

“The Stupa of Kanganhalli. An Introduction to a New Find”, Der Stupa von Kanganhalli. Ein Symposium zu einem neu entdeckten buddhistischen Monument im indischen Bundesstaat Karnataka, Freie Universität Berlin, 11th–12th January 2008.

“Zur Entwicklung des buddhistischen Mandala in Indien und Tibet”, Schweizerisch-Indische Gesellschaft Basel, 8th November 2007.

“Succession, continuity and regionality: a reconsideration of Buddhist bronze images from the Western Himalayas”, international seminar on the topic “In the Shadow of the Mountain’s. Rock art between Upper Indus region and Swat”, Heidelberg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, 26th–27th April 2007.

“Vom Ziegengrund zum Göttersitz, Geschichte und Kunst des Lhasa Jokhang”, in a lecture series to the exhibition Tibet, Klöster öffnen ihre Schatzkammern, Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, 20th April 2007.

“Ritual, Instruction and Experiment: Esoteric Drawings from Dunhuang”, International Seminar on The Art of Central Asia and the Indian Sub-Continent in Cross-Cultural Perspective (1st cent. A.D. – 14th cent. A.D.), Department of History of Art, National Museum Institute New Delhi, 12th–16th March 2007.

“Überlegungen zur Entwicklung des buddhistischen Mandala in Indien und Tibet” Institut für Indologie und Zentralasienwissenschaften, Leipzig, 6th November 2006.

“Styles in Western Himalayan Painting and Sculpture”, From Lhasa to Beijing: Towards a Sino-Tibetan Art Style, Third International Conference on Tibetan Archaeology & Arts (ICTAA III), Beijing, 14th–17th October 2006.

“Mandalas of Mandalas. Iconography of a Stupa of Many Auspicious Doors for Phagmodrupa”, 11th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Bonn, 27th August – 2nd September 2006.

“Holy Madness – Siddhas in Tibet”, Siam Society, Bangkok, 18th March 2006.

2000 to 2005

“On the Earliest Mandalas in a Buddhist Context”, International Conference on Mahayana Buddhism: History and Culture, organized by Tibet House, New Delhi, 2nd – 5th November 2005.

“Die acht bedeutenden Adepten (Mahasiddhas) in der frühen tibetischen Malerei”, Museum für Völkerkunde, Hamburg, 30th October 2005.

“Indian Tantric Masters and Tibet. The Eight Great Adepts in Early  Tibetan Paintings from c. 1200 to c. 1350”, India International Center, Monday, 18th July 2005.

“Variations on a Theme. The Iconography of the Kanji Main Temple”, 12th Colloquium of the International Association for Ladakh Studies, Kargil, 12–15th July 2005.

“Indian Tantric Masters and Tibet. The Eight Great Adepts in Early Tibetan Paintings from c. 1200 to c. 1350”, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, Saturday, 7th May 2005.

Together with Hudaya Kandahja: “Depictions of the Gandavyuha Sutra in Tabo and Borobudur”, Asian Art and Visual Culture, UC Berkeley, 27th April 2005.

“Early Tibetan Art in Ladakh”, Asian Art and Visual Culture, UC Berkeley, 20th April 2005.

“Buddhist Sculpture in Clay. Early Western Himalayan Art, late 10th to early 13th centuries”, Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, Saturday, 9th April 2005.

“The Internationality of Western Himalayan Art, late 10th to early 13th centuries”, Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena, Annual Associates Black Tie Dinner, Athenaeum, 3rd March 2005.

“Cave Temples in Tibet”, Panel on ‘Buddhism in the Dark: What Monks and Nuns, Lay People, Artists, Patrons, and Others did in Cave-Temples in India, Central Asia, Tibet and China’ organised by Stephen F. Teiser, American Academy of Religion, Annual Meeting, 20th-23rd November, 2004.

“A Three-dimensional Mandala? An Analysis of the Tabo Main Temple”, Stanford Center for Buddhist Studies, Workshop Sacred Geographies, Stanford Humanities Center, Monday, 25th October 2004.
also presented at: UCLA Department of Art History and UCLA Center for Buddhist Studies, Friday, 4th March 2005.

“Circumscribing a Cosmos:  On the Relationship of Early Tibetan Depictions and Descriptions of Yoga Tantra Mandalas”, Columbia University Seminar on Buddhist Studies, Seminar Series 2003-2004, Columbia University Faculty House, Thursday, 29th April 2004.

“Iconographic Questions of  Early Tibetan Paintings: The Eight Great Adepts in Early Tibetan Painting from c. 1200 to c. 1350”, Fellowship Colloquium, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 30th March 2004.

"Maitreya – Zur Kunst, den Buddha der Zukunft darzustellen", Schweizerisch-Indische Gesellschaft Basel, 23 October 2003.

"On the Iconography of Thangkas dedicated to the Vajradhātumaṇḍala", in co-operation with a presentation on the style of the same paintings by Eva Allinger, 10th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, 6–12 September 2003.

"Recent Research on Alchi Monastery" lecture at the India International Centre chaired by Dr. Kapila Vatsayan, IIC Annexe, New Delhi, 13 August 2003.

"Alchi Monastery Reconsidered", Ladakh: Art, Culture and Languages; 11th colloquium of the International Association for Ladakh Studies, Leh, Ladakh, 21–26 July.

"Tabo – Frühe indo-tibetische Kunst im westlichen Himalaya", Museum of Ethnology, Vienna, 5 March 2003.

"Buddhas of Impermanence: Clay Sculpture in (West-) Tibetan Art" lecture at a Symposium on "Visions of Enlightenment. New Perspectives of Tibetan Art" organized by the Circle of Himalayan Studies as part of Asian Art in London, SOAS, 9 November 2002.

"Herstellungstechniken von Tonfiguren in Süd- und Zentralasien" Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna, 5 February 2002.

"Früher westtibetischer Buddhismus – Das Kloster Nako" Schweizerisch-Indische Gesellschaft Basel, Aula der Museen an der Augustinerstrasse, 3 January 2002.

"Frühe indo-tibetische Kunst im westlichen Himalaya (10.-13.Jhd.)" Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich, Institut für Indologie und Iranistik, 13th December 2001.

"Maitreya in Gandhara" South Asia Institute at the University of Heidelberg, 12th December 2001.

"Aspekte zur Datierung tibetischer Kunst" lecture at a Symposium on Dating Tibetan Art organized by the Kunsthaus Lempertz, Cologne, 17th November 2001.

"The Development of Early Indo-Tibetan Buddhist art in the Western Himalayas (10th to 13th century)" University of Pennsylvania (co-sponsered by the Temple University), Philadelphia, 25th October 2001.

"Maitreya in Gandhara Reconsidered". 16th International Conference on South Asian Archaeology, Paris, 2–6 July 2001.

"Western Himalayan Art 10th-15th century", Università di Roma <La Sapienza>, Dipartimento di Studi Orientali, 23 May 2001.

Presentation of early stupa shapes in Ladakh and their tsha-tsha during a workshop on the usage of relics in South Asia, IATS Leiden, 31 June 2000.

"The Wanla bCu-gcig-zhal", 9th Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Leiden, 24–30 June 2000.

"Ein neuer Stupa aus dem Shatavahana Reich (ca. 2. Jh.n.Chr.). Reisebericht mit Stand der Ausgrabung zur Jahrtausendwende", Institut für Tibetologie und Buddhismuskunde, Vienna University, 7 March 2000.

Before 2000

"The Depiction of Hindu and pan-Indian deities in Early Indo-Tibetan Buddhist Paintings of the Western Himalayas" Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, 18 December 1999, Lecture Hall, IIC Annexe, New Delhi.

"Unprotected Treasures: (Art-) Historical Value and Preservation in the Indian Himalayas", Symposium on "Preservation of Cultural Heritage" organised by the Austrian Embassy in New Delhi, 13–14 December 1999.

"On the depiction of Non-Buddhist Deities in the Western Himalaya" Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologists, Leiden, July 1999.

"Ein Blick nach Osten. Bemerkungen zur rezenten Erforschung früher tibetischer Kunst" 10. Österreichischer Kunsthistorikertag, Innsbruck, 30.9.–3.10.1999.

"On the depiction of Non-Buddhist Deities in the Western Himalaya" Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologists, Leiden, July 1999.

"Frühe Tempel und Klöster in Spiti, Ladakh und Westtibet" Schweizerisch-Indische Gesellschaft Basel, Aula der Museen an der Augustinerstrasse, 9. February 1999.

"Frühe westtibetische Klöster und Tempel" Vienna, 18 October 1998, at the opening of the new premises of Vienna University (Universitätscampus).

"Early Indo-Tibetan Buddhist monuments in the western Himalayas" India International Centre, New Delhi, 30. September 1998.

"Clay Sculpture in Northwest India" Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologists, Rome, July 1997.

"Denkmalschutz- und Restaurierungsprobleme im indischen Himalaya; Tibetische Klöster des 11. und 12. Jhs.", Ahnensaal des Bundesdenkmalamts, Wien, 19. March 1997.

"Conservation Problems at Nako" Introduction to the Panel on Conservation of Artistic and Architectural Heritage and its Modern Management. New Delhi, 8. October 1996.

"Early Buddhist Wood Carvings in Himachal Pradesh", Tibet House, New Delhi, 18. July 1996.

"The Tabo Clay Sculptures", International Seminar at Tabo, 27th June to 1. July 1996.

"Clay Sculpture in the Western Himalayas (11th/12th cent.)", Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeologists, Cambridge, July 1995.

"The 'International Style' in Ladakh", at the 7. International Conference of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Bildungshaus Schloß Seggau (Graz), June 1995.

"Tempelarchitektur und Klöster in Tibet", in a the lecture series "Tibet – Kulturen und Religionen am Dach der Welt", URANIA, Graz, April 1995.

"Medieval Buddhist Monuments in Spiti and Kinnaur", The Hungarian Information and Cultural Centre, New Delhi, October 1994.

"Another Rin chen bzang po Temple?" at the 6. International Conference of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Fagernes (Norway), 21. – 28. August 1992.