Manuscript cover for a Kanjur (Tibetan Canon of Buddhist Texts)

Historical period(s)
16th-early 18th century
Wood with gilt and traces of polychrome pigments
H x W x D (overall): 24.7 x 64.8 x 4.5 cm (9 3/4 x 25 1/2 x 1 3/4 in)
Credit Line
Gift of Ruth C. Galaid
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Accession Number
On View Location
Currently not on view

Manuscript cover

Buddha, Buddhism, Kanjur, Marpa, Milarepa, Naropa, Tibet, Vajradhara

From 1963 to 2003
Mrs. Ruth C. Galaid, Fairfax, VA, purchased from an unnamed Tibetan in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 1963 [1]

From 2004
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, given by Mrs. Ruth C. Galaid in 2004


[1] Mrs. Galaid purchased the cover in Nepal from a Tibetan in Kathmandu in 1963 when she was working with the Ford Foundation in India (according to Provenance Remark 1, Debra Diamond, August 2004, in the object record).

Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)

Mrs. Ruth C. Galaid


The gold that adorns the cover of this sacred Buddhist text reflects the purity and perfection of the teachings of the Buddha (dharma). Like most Tibetan covers, it is shaped to resemble the long, narrow format of ancient texts from India, where the Buddha lived and taught in the fifth century B.C.E. The cover depicts the enthroned Buddha surrounded by the teachers, lamas, and perfected beings of the Kagyu lineage of Tibetan Buddhism.

Collection Area(s)
South Asian and Himalayan Art
Web Resources
Google Cultural Institute
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