Click to search the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Skip Navigation

Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam Exhibition: "Jacques Marchais' Passion for Tibet: Her Monastery Museum and the Beginnings of American Buddhism," with Sarah Johnson, PhD., an art historian and scholar of American Buddhism.


December 9, 2010

In a richly illustrated talk, the former Curator at Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art's and Jacques Marchais' biographer, will reveal the story of the pioneering American woman Jacques Marchais (1887-1948), an important collector and respected expert on Tibetan art, who contributed the growing interest in Asian art and philosophy in the early 20th century. Because of her passionate drive to amass a fine collection of Himalayan objects in the 1920s-1940s, New York City possesses one of the nation's earliest collections of high-quality Tibetan art. Established in 1945 and designed by Jacques Marchais, the JMMTA's rustic complex of fieldstone buildings resembles a Himalayan mountain monastery. The museum embodies Jacques Marchais' vision to provide a peaceful retreat where the public can study the art and culture of Tibet.

The lecture will detail Jacques Marchais' early life as a child actress in the late Victorian period, her social life and spiritual quest in New York City in the 1920s, and her intense desire to build an enduring monument to Tibetan Buddhism during the eras of the Great Depression and World War II.   Ms. Johnson will explain Jacques Marchais' role in popularizing Himalayan culture and place her in context of the history of American Buddhism.