On treks in the Himalayas over a period of 20 years, locals steered Hyatt Hotels CEO Thomas Pritzker to temples and caves full of sculptures, paintings, and scrolls. Drawn to the hypnotic imagery of Buddhist and Hindu masterworks, Pritzker quickly became a collector. Now, 21 of his best pieces are among the 190 on display in "Himalayas," an exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago through Aug. 17 (www.artic.edu). It moves to the Sackler Gallery in Washington in October.
"Himalayas" takes visitors through 1,500 years of artwork from Nepal, Kashmir, and other parts of northern India, Tibet, and Bhutan. Avalokiteshvara, an enlightened being known as a bodhisattva, projects strength and compassion in a striking brass sculpture from about the year 1000. A wood manuscript cover from the 12th century, painted in still-bright red, gold, and green pigment, shows a smiling Buddha accompanied by bodhisattvas and monks.
By Joseph Weber