Reting Rinpoche Tenzin Jigme Thutob Wangchuk (1948-1997), Tibet 
Kism; her family, by gift or inheritance from Kism's uncle or grandfather, a secretary to Reting Rinpoche Tenzin Jigme Thutob Wangchuk 
Albert Rudolph (1928-1973), Rudi Oriental Arts, New York, NY, purchased from Kism in New York, NY 
Philip Rudko, purchased from Albert Rudolph in New York, NY 
Alice S. Kandell, acquired from Philip Rudko 
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, gift of Alice S. Kandell 
 See notes from interview between Joanna M. Gohmann and Philip Rudko, November 6, 2020, notes in object file for S2020.5.1. As abbot of Reting Monastery in Central Tibet, the Reting Rinpoche is an important Tibetan Buddhist leader whose role may include selection of the next Dalai Lama.
See also acquisition proposal titled “Tara (One of the Famed Twenty-one Tara Emanations) Offered as a gift from Alice S. Kandell to the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery of Art,” 2011, copy in object file. Prior to or in the very early 1960s, the Reting sent his portable wealth out of Tibet to safeguard their cultural heritage and wealth.
 Kism’s uncle or grandfather served as a secretary to the Reting Rinpoche Tenzin Jigme Thutob Wangchuk.
See note 1. In the 2011 acquisition proposal, Rudko said that Kism is the “granddaughter of one of the Reting’s secretaries” and Kism “had homes in both New York City and Kathmandu.” However, in 2020, Rudko said that that Kism's uncle was a secretary to the Reting. Rudko also reports that he never learned Kism's last name and is unsure if Kism did in fact have a last name. Tibetan individuals around that time were reluctant to share their family name -- if they had one -- when selling objects like this one, as items like this typically stayed within a family. To this day, many Tibetans do not have last names.
 See acquisition proposal in note 1. See also curatorial notes titled “Dec. 17 Update: Choices for end 2013 acquisition,” December 17, 2013, p. [6-7], number VII-13, described as “Two cups with Stemmed Saucer Stand (Youring),” copy in object file.
Albert Rudolph, known also as Swami Rudrananda (Rudi) was born in Brooklyn, New York. He was a disciple of Bhagawan Nityananda (1897-1961), whom he met in India in 1958 or 1960. In 1966 another disciple of Nityananda, Swami Muktananda (1908-1982) initiated him into the Saraswati Order of monks, making him one of the first Americans to be recognized as a Swami or master in this tradition. Rudi began collecting Asian art objects before he turned twenty. Rudi opened his business, Rudi Oriental Arts, at 180 7th Avenue South, with just a few hundred dollars and some of the sculptures he had collected in the late 1950s. Rudi died in February 1973.
 See acquisition proposal in note 1. Philip Rudko, born just outside New York City in northern New Jersey, is a Russian Orthodox priest and art conservator, specializing in Tibetan objects. He works with the collector Alice Kandell as the curator of her personal collection.
 See acquisition proposal in note 1. Alice S. Kandell is a private collector, who for decades acquired hundreds of bronze sculptures, thangkas, textile banners, painted furniture and ritual implements. Her interest in Tibetan art and culture began during her college years, when she took the first of many trips to Sikkim, Tibet and Ladakh. Throughout her career as a child psychologist in New York, she continued to pursue her love of Tibetan Buddhist sacred art, traveling, collecting and documenting the art and culture of the region in two books of photography, “Sikkim: The Hidden Kingdom” (Doubleday) and “Mountaintop Kingdom: Sikkim” (Norton).
 See Deed of Gift, dated December 26, 2013, copy in object file.
Research updated December 7, 2022
- Previous Owner(s) and Custodian(s)
Philip J. Rudko
Rudi Oriental Arts
Alice S. Kandell
Reting Rinpoche Tenzin Jigme Thutob Wangchuk
- Published References
- Marylin M. Rhie, Robert A.F. Thurman. A Shrine for Tibet: The Alice S. Kandell Collection. New York and London. VII-13a, 267.
- Collection Area(s)
- South Asian and Himalayan Art
- Web Resources
- Google Cultural Institute
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