Daily Archives: 08/29/2004

Tibet Exhibit In Orange County

The Potala Palace Before it becomes completely irrelevant I thought I should mention this little tidbit from my trip last month. I saw this exhibit on my last day in California: Tibet! Treasures from the Roof of the World runs through September 12th. The show contains treasures from the Potala Palace, the seat of power in Tibet, and the Norbulingka, the traditional summer home of the Dalai Lamas. The exhibit consists of ritual objects and gifts to the Dalai Lamas from neighboring realms, Tibetan statuary and a collection of clothes and jewelry befitting a Tibetan noble. I was enraptured by a small statue of the Green Tara, it was so exquisitely detailed and bejeweled.

The Tibet show, along with an exhibit of children’s portraits from around the world, was really good, but the rest of the museum left a little to be desired. Mostly bad paintings of the Southern California surf and empty freeways – like that was ever going to happen. Some of the historical pieces from Old Mexico and the early 1800’s were interesting though, but most of the permanent collection was disappointly bad art.

It was more than I expected in the middle of Santa Ana though. Orange County struck me as a vast wasteland of tract housing, shopping centers and fast food outlets. The archetype for so much that has gone wrong with the American landscape over the last fifty years. Koyaanisqatsi incarnate.