Museum of the Month: Rubin Museum of Art

The Rubin Museum features a magnificent collection of Himalayan art, giving insight into the customs and culture of the South Asian region. The Rubin Museum has recently formed a partnership with CUNY. For the 2015-2016 academic year, CUNY students, faculty and administrative staff have free general admission to the museum, as well as student ticket discounts. The Rubin also offers 100 free guided tours to CUNY classes for the year. Since the initiation of the CUNY-Rubin partnership, there has been a large increase in visitors, especially students. Nicole noted that “tours [have been] way up” this fall season.

Gateway to Himalayan Art
Gateway to Himalayan Art

Located in Chelsea, The Rubin happens to be in a great neighborhood for artwork and art communities. The Rubin opened in 2004 and was founded by Donald and Shelly Rubin. The couple had a vast collection of Himalayan art, and instead of donating it to museums around the city they decided to create their own museum in Chelsea to highlight the specific region.

The museum “constantly holds new exhibits that are interactive and informative,” according to Nicole Leist, Assistant Manager of Adult and Academic Programs. Rubin features its own permanent collection, along with special exhibitions. All six gallery floors of the museum are engaging and some even have interactive components for guests. Two of the floors are dedicated to the permanent collection, which has a diverse array of over 2,500 objects, some of which date back to 1,500 years ago.

One of extraordinary exhibits currently on display is Steve McCurry’s photography of India. AnotherPhotography by Steve McCurry is Sacred Spaces, which features the new installation of the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room. The Sacred Spaces exhibition contains interactive and immersive experiences that can act as “mental palate cleanser between exhibitions,” as Nicole described, and encourages visitors to consider how they define the concept of “sacred.” Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama has come to visit the museum. President Obama has also visited a few times.

Photography by Steve McCurry

The museum also offers University students professional development and social opportunities, such as the Apprentice Museum Educator Program and College Committee. These programs are for the academic year and can be applied for starting in July 2016. The Rubin also has a theater, where they hold special musical or cinema events. The museum’s hours can be found here: The Rubin Museum is a must visit!

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