Rob Linrothe: Tibetan and Buddhist Art

Amdo (Qinghai province), China. New year's ch'am (masked dance). 2002. ©Rob Linrothe, Northwestern University.

Rob Linrothe has contributed more than 5,130 images of Tibetan, Chinese, and Indian monuments, field photography, and architecture to the Artstor Digital Library in collaboration with the Lucy Scribner Library, Skidmore College and Northwestern University.

The collection has a strong focus on Tibetan sites, particularly petroglyphs, stupas, and monasteries in the Ladakh and Zangskar regions, as well as the associated art, mostly painting and sculpture. It also includes vivid photography of the current practice of traditional cultural rituals. In addition, the selection provides coverage of the architecture and sculpture of monuments such as Borobudur in Indonesia and Sanchi in India.

Rob Linrothe, associate professor in Northwestern University’s Department of Art History, is a specialist in the Buddhist art of the Himalayas, with expertise in the pre-modern art of Ladakh and Zangskar (Indian Himalayas) and the contemporary revival of monastic painting in Amdo (China, northeastern cultural Tibet).

Linrothe was a scholar-in-residence at the Getty Research Institute in 2008-2009. He served as the curator of Himalayan Art at the Rubin Museum of Art, 2002-2004, where he authored the catalogues/exhibitions: Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies; Paradise & Plumage: Chinese Connections in Tibetan Arhat Painting; and, with Jeff Watt, Demonic Divine: Himalayan Art and Beyond; and Holy Madness: Portraits of Tantric Siddhas. A selection of other recent publications includes: "Origins of the Kashmiri Style in the Western Himalayas: Sculpture of the 7th–11th Centuries" in Transfer of Buddhism Across Central Asian Networks (7th to 13th Centuries), 2016; "Site Unseen: Approaching a Royal Buddhist Monument of Zangskar (Western Himalayas)" The Tibet Journal, 2015; "Portraiture on the Periphery: Recognizing Changsem Sherab Zangpo," Archives of Asian Art, 2013; "Travel Albums and Revisioning Narratives: A Case Study in the Getty's Fleury 'Cachemire' Album of 1908," in Photography's Orientalism: New Essays on Colonial Representations, 2013; and "Polishing the Past: The Style of a Seventeenth-Century Tibetan Mural," Artibus Asiae, 2011.