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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: Crossing the Pass, Bringing Home the Salt
Date: 2002
Medium: Gouache on canvas
Dimensions: 39 3/8 x 39 3/8 in. (100 x 100 cm)
Credit Line: Acquired through the George and Mary Rockwell Fund
Object Number: 2002.001
Label Text: Norbu works in Dolpo, Nepal, where he hails from a lineage of painters dating back four hundred years. He was trained by his father in the art of thangka painting, an integral part of Tibetan spiritual life that traditionally was supported by monasteries and patrons. But today, adept teachers and economic opportunities have become difficult for artists in remote, culturally Tibetan communities of Nepal. An artist-in-residence at Cornell in 2001, Norbu now trains apprentices in Dolpo, who then return to their own communities to practice traditional painting in the restoration and renovation of monasteries and other cultural treasures.

Norbu infuses the classical genre of Tibetan sacred art with vivid images of the pastoral life of his community. In this painting he depicts the annual trek to gather salt, an arduous journey into remote mountains that has been a critical aspect of Dolpo’s livelihood for many generations. Norbu’s works have appeared in National Geographic magazine, the Academy Award–nominated feature film Caravan, and a children’s book.

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.