Fortune Shines in Atlanta — Oglethorpe University Museum of Art Celebrates Mongolia
Portals to Shangri-La: Masterpieces from Buddhist Mongolia

The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art in Atlanta is proud to exhibit Portals to Shangri-La: Masterpieces from Buddhist Mongolia, celebrating the 800th anniversary of the founding of the Mongol Empire by Genghis Khan. The exhibition, donated by various American collectors, will run at Oglethorpe University from February 12 through August 6, 2006.

This exhibition was to have come from the Zanabazar Mongolia National Fine Arts Museum. However, on January 13, 2006, Mongolia's government collapsed, and this has prevented any of the artwork from leaving the country. Art historian and author Glenn Mullin, who organized both of these exhibitions, also worked quickly to obtain works from various collectors in the United States, as well as works from his own personal collection, to be included in this exhibition.

The exhibition includes works from the personal collection of Donald and Shelley Rubin, founders of the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Rubin, who is an alumnus of Oglethorpe University, class of 1956, immediately stepped in to help Oglethorpe present an exhibition of Mongolian art. "From a karmic point of view, it's really exciting," said Rubin. "My freshman dorm stood exactly where the museum is now." Rubin's holdings of Central Asian Buddhist art are of the finest in the world.

The exhibition focuses on Mongolia's image as a portal to the mystical land of Shambala, the source of James Hilton's concept of Shangri-La. These works by Mongolian masters are considered to be tunnels or portals to a higher reality. Oglethorpe University Museum of Art's gallery director Lloyd Nick explained, "Because Communists destroyed so many of the country's treasures, more of Mongolia's great art exists outside the country. There will be a greater variety of art in this exhibition than in the original and a broader chronological reach."

For More Information


The Oglethorpe University Museum of Art is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon until 5:00 p.m. for the exhibition, but will be closed May 4-5 and July 1-9.

Docent Tours

Given every Sunday beginning at 2:00 p.m. Admission to the museum is $5 (free for members). For more information, call 404-364-8555. en until 7:45 p.m. on Monday, December 26th until Fri


Meet the Man Behind the Exhibit

"In Buddhism we say that all things are interdependent, and all experiences are born from causes of a similar nature. Karma is a force that ripens and increases lifetime upon lifetime, and we can use this to benefit self and others, or we can fail to understand the process and consequently cause increasing unhappiness for self and others. I had the good fortune that my positive karma from past lives ripened and I was carried into the surging waters of the enlightenment tradition."

—Read an interview with Glenn H. Mullin

Oglethorpe University Museum of Art — Photographs © 2006

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