BMCC was recently granted a year-long Rubin Museum of Art Partnership that will enable BMCC faculty, students, and staff the exceptional opportunity to view and understand Himalayan Art.
Admission to the Rubin Museum is free for all members of the BMCC community until June 30th, 2012.
All BMCC staffers, faculty members and students have to do is show their BMCC ID card at the main entrance for access to the Museum, which is located in the vibrant Chelsea area of Manhattan.
The Rubin Museum of Art’s University Partnership Agreement showcases a comprehensive collection of art from not only the Himalayan region, but also Tibet, Nepal, India, China, Mongolia, and more. The Museum’s six floors provide the BMCC community with public programs and an abundance of resources for exploring Himalayan art as it relates to the contemporary world.
Baruch College President Emeritus and Professor Stan Altman, helped implement this partnership with CUNY, beginning with Baruch.
Then, three other CUNY colleges, as well as BMCC, entered into the University Partnership with The Rubin Museum: John Jay, Hunter and Queensborough. (Queens College is also actively engaged with the Rubin Museum.)
Gaining a greater understanding
“This partnership is an extension of the college, in a way; an enhancement of the college experience,” says Altman. “It’s not just art for art’s sake, but a reminder that life is more than just getting a job. Experiencing museum visits helps students at both 2-year and 4-year colleges gain an understanding of a broader society."
Altman says the Rubin Museum Partnership encourages students to explore art even further, especially in New York City.
“Some students don’t easily identify with culture and may think, ‘Oh, museums just aren’t for me’. However, this partnership is enriching their lives through culture for free. It’s a cultural opportunity for everyone and will hopefully empower students on various levels.”
Free access to the Museum also encourages BMCC students to step outside their comfort zones and explore everything the Rubin Museum has to offer.
Enhancing the campus experience
The Rubin Museum of Art is the first Museum to partner with BMCC in an educational capacity.
On the first floor of the Rubin Museum is a warm, inviting cafeteria and sitting area, a small café, and a gift shop.
“We want students to feel comfortable here; to know they can bring their books here if they’d like and study in a different environment,” says Marcos Stafne, Head of Education & Visitor Experience at the Rubin. He encourages students to view the Rubin Museum as an extension of their CUNY campus and experience.
The Rubin Museum of Art has the largest Western collection of religious art from cultures of the Himalayan mountain range, including those of Nepal, Tibet, and Bhutan as well as the interrelated traditions of India, Mongolia, and China.
The museum''s collection is primarily made up of scroll paintings (thangka) and sculptures form the region, and also includes a wide variety of artifacts, such as masks, textiles, and illuminated manuscripts.
More than just artwork
The goal of the Rubin Museum Project is to foster relationships with the CUNY community. Additional Partnership benefits include tours for students and professors, access to experts on Himalayan art and history, and more.
BMCC professors looking to broaden their knowledge of Himalayan art and culture are encouraged to contact the museum to learn ways of incorporating the Museum’s artwork into their curriculum.
Friday nights, the Museum is free from 6pm to 10pm, allowing members of the BMCC community to bring a non-BMCC guest to the Museum; free of charge.
The Web site calendar lists events at the museum, which oftentimes includes live music.
The Rubin Museum’s current exhibit, running until October 24, 2012, is titled: Pilgrimage and Faith: Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam.
Editor’s Note: The staff of the Baruch College Rubin Museum Project produced the Rubin Museum guidebook.