Published: Oct. 7, 2015

Local art historian Sarah Magnatta from the University of Denver will deliver a lecture on "Portraits of Presence: The Dalai Lama in Traditional & Contemporary Imagery." The lecture will take place in Humanities 250. A description of the lecture is below:

Traditionally, Tibetan artistic depictions of the Dalai Lamas highlighted the lineage of the master teacher, emphasizing the legitimacy of the institution’s rule rather than a close likeness of the individual man. Today, an explosion of multifaceted imagery of the current and Fourteenth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, showcases a recognizable international figure. Different audiences, media, and contexts for his image coincide with the leader’s shifting role in the political, social, and religious spheres.  His portrait (and access to that portrait) has changed as well, largely due to the introduction of photography, the internet, and social media. This presentation will explore several images of previous incarnations and the current Dalai Lama, evaluating both intended functions of the imagery as well as audience reception. 

Sarah Magnatta teaches Asian art history courses at the University of Denver where she is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor.  She is a consultant for the Thangde Gatsal Tibetan Buddhist Art Digital Collection at the University of Denver and serves on the board of the Asian Art Association at the Denver Art Museum.

Part of the Visualizing Tibet in Image and Text series to launch the Tibet Himalaya Initiative at CU Boulder. 

Magnatta Lecture