'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' Opens to American Audiences for First Time

Last week, Asia Society Museum showcased the rich, vibrant, Tibetan paintings discovered by Italian academic and explorer Giuseppe Tucci to American audiences for the first time in the exhibition Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting. The collection of paintings and photographs — which are on loan from the Museum of Civilisation-Museum of Oriental Art's Giuseppe Tucci exhibition in Rome — highlight Tucci's contributions to the understanding of Tibet, including Tibetan Buddhism, in the West.

The exhibition, which is curated by Deborah Klimburg-Salter, University Professor Emeritus, CIRDIS, Institute for Art History, University of Vienna; and Associate, Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University and Adriana Proser, John H. Foster Senior Curator for Traditional Asian Art, Asia Society, opened at Asia Society New York on February 27 and is on view through May 20. Asia Society Museum celebrated the occasion with a special opening celebration for members that included tea tastings, exhibition tours, a lecture led by Klimburg-Salter, a welcome from the Lulu and Anthony Wang Asia Society President and CEO Josette Sheeran, remarks from Asia Society's Vice President of Global Arts and Programming Boon Hui Tan, and a blessing from a Tibetan monk. 

Check out the images below for a few highlights from the press preview, VIP reception, and members-only opening night lecture. 


Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting

An attendee of the 'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' exhibition press preview takes a photo of one of the thangkas on display on February 26, 2018. (Maria Baranova/Asia Society)

Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Paintings Opening

'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' features stunning paintings collected by Italian scholar Giuseppe Tucci during his 1926-1948 expeditions to Tibet. The exhibition opened to the public on February 27, 2018. (Maria Baranova/Asia Society)

Adriana Proser co-curator of Unknown Tibet

Adriana Proser, the John H. Foster Senior Curator for Traditional Asian Art at the Asia Society Museum and co-curator of 'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' addresses a group during the media preview of the exhibition on February 26, 2018. (Maria Baranova/Asia Society)

Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting opening

'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' features stunning paintings collected by Italian scholar Giuseppe Tucci during his 1926-1948 expeditions to Tibet. The show opened to the public on February 27, 2018 at Asia Society New York. (Maria Baranova/Asia Society)

Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Paintings

'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' features stunning paintings collected by Italian scholar Giuseppe Tucci during his 1926-1948 expeditions to Tibet. The show opened to the public on February 27, 2018 at Asia Society New York. (Maria Baranova/Asia Society)

 Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting

Boon Hui Tan, the vice president for global arts and programming at Asia Society, welcomes the crowd ahead of the opening night lecture of 'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' at Asia Society New York on February 27, 2018. (Maria Baranova/Asia Society)

Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting curator Deborah Klimburg-Salter

Guest curator Deborah Klimburg-Salter, University Professor Emeritus, CIRDIS, Institute for Art History, University of Vienna; and Associate, Department of South Asian Studies, Harvard University, gives the opening night lecture for 'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' at Asia Society New York on February 27, 2018. (Maria Baranova/Asia Society)

Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting

A collection of sculptures, paintings, and photographs, are on view as part of the 'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' exhibition at Asia Society New York on February 27, 2018. (Elena Olivo/Asia Society)

Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting opening reception

Guests gather and mingle during an opening reception for the opening of the 'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' exhibition at Asia Society New York on February 27, 2018. (Elena Olivo/Asia Society)

Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting opening reception

Guests gather and mingle during an opening reception for the opening of the 'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' exhibition at Asia Society New York on February 27, 2018. (Elena Olivo/Asia Society)

Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting opening blessing

A Buddhist monk offers a blessing as part of the ceremonies for the opening of the 'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' exhibition at Asia Society New York on February 27, 2018. (Elena Olivo/Asia Society)

Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting opening night

After performing a traditional blessing, a Buddhist monk walks through the 'Unknown Tibet: The Tucci Expeditions and Buddhist Painting' exhibition on opening night at Asia Society New York on February 27, 2018. (Elena Olivo/Asia Society)

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