The Rubin Museum of Art Launches New Online Collection Database



Tara Protecting the Eight Fears; Kham Province, Southeastern Tibet; late 19th-early 20th century; Pigments on cloth with silk brocade; Rubin Museum of Art, Gift of Dr. Michael Henss, Zurich

With a globally renowned collection of nearly 4,000 objects spanning more than 1,500 years from the Himalayan region, the Rubin Museum of Art launches a new and improved online collection database today. A total of 381 objects from the Rubin Museum’s permanent collection are now available at This marks the first phase of an initiative to make the Rubin Museum collection accessible to visitors, students, teachers, and scholars alike around the world. More objects will be added continually, with the goal of eventually publishing the entire collection.

Incense Burner, Kham Province, Eastern Tibet (possibly Derge area); 15th century; Damascened iron; Rubin Museum of Art

“This project showcases the Rubin Museum’s growing and concerted efforts to place Himalayan art at the center of global scholarship,” says Executive Director Jorrit Britschgi. “By providing access, accurate data about each object, and high quality images to the public and scholars, the database allows us to share the breadth and beauty of our collection from Tibet and the Himalayan mountain range that spans across Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, India, and beyond. This will become an important resource in the field of Himalayan art and I’m excited to share its launch.”

The database features 147 paintings, 112 sculptures, and 29 ritual objects such as offering bowls and prayer wheels. Other objects include furniture, prints and drawings, architectural elements, and manuscripts. These objects represent artworks that were on view in the galleries in the last three years as well as masterworks from the collection.

Vajrabhairava, Mongolia; ca. 19th century; clay with pigments; Rubin Museum of Art

Researchers and explorers can sort through the artworks using 16 classifications, such as a sculpture, manuscript, or ritual object, as well as by origin, time period, keyword, and whether the object is on view in the Museum. Supplemental information, when available, also accompanies the objects. Additional features include the ability to share information and images through social media and email, as well as a “favorites” section where visitors can create and save artworks to their own collections to refer back to.

“Having a digital collections database has been a longtime goal, and I am so proud of the work that our team has been doing over the last year to initiate this project. Prior to this launch, a number of artworks were available online but with very limited search capabilities. This new platform allows for more functionality and an easier point of entry for visitors looking to learn more about our collection. We look forward to expanding the database over the next few years with more objects being added monthly,” says Director of Curatorial Administration and Collections Michelle Bennett Simorella.

Yes, we all miss this. But the doors are open Online. Come inside the new Rubin Museum of Art Online Collection Database.

Step into The Rubin Museum of Art Online Collection Database Here.

Join The Rubin Museum in The Lotus Effect, a new participatory installation in response to COVID-19, creating your own folded lotus flower, which will later be on view in an installation when the Museums doors open.

Feeling stressed-out? Take refuge in the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room at The Rubin Museum with free two-hours of meditative chanting as part of The Rubin’s COVID-19 Care Package.

Genesis Breyer P-Orridge (1950-2020 b. Manchester, England) with assistance from Daniel Albrigio (b. 1982, Pomona, California); Touching of Hands, 2016, New York City; Bronze, Rubin Museum of Art, Gift of Breyer P-Orridge and invisible Exports

The Team at The Rubin is continuously updating this database. Be sure to check back often. If you’re looking for something specific and don’t see it, The Rubin welcome’s your email at

The Rubin Museum of Art is located at 150 West 17th Street, NYC ~ the Museum is currently closed until further notice.