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Museum of Tibetan Art

Unique collection of rare and sacred artifacts on Staten Island

Museum of Tibetan Art

338 Lighthouse Avenue, Staten Island, NY 10306
+1 718-987-3500
Wed–Sun 13:00–17:00

The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art was a real discovery for us. It has calm and tranquil ambience, while its unique collection of rare and sacred artifacts is considered the best in the US. It’s the first in the world Tibetan art museum, founded by an American Jacques Marchais, a collector and an expert. It’s interesting that Jacques herself never traveled to Tibet, but nevertheless amassed a fantastic collection.

Some of the objects she inherited from her grandfather, a tea merchant, who collected many bronze Tibetan figurines, which Jacques played with as a child. When she grew up, she started studying history, religion and culture of this region and acquired various art objects at auctions. She then founded a gallery specializing in Tibetan art in Manhattan and in 1947 she realized her long-time dream and opened the doors of Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art.

Jacques personally planned the whole museum complex, styling it after a Tibetan mountainous monastery: it has terraces, gardens, meditation spots and a fish pond with lotus flowers. The museum became the first place built according to Himalayan architecture traditions in the US.

Dalai Lama visited the museum in 1991 and appreciated it a lot. Marchais’ collection has more than 1,000 items, not just from Tibet, but also from Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia and Northern China, including sculpture, furniture, musical instruments, ritual objects, Tibetan thangka icons, and household objects dating from 12th to 20th centuries. The permanent exposition counts more than 100 items; the rest you can see at temporary exhibitions.

Key info: on Saturdays you can catch morning meditation and tai chi sessions (you have to get tickets for these activities), while on Sundays there are film viewings at 2 p.m.

Admission: 6 USD.

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