The single most potent symbol of Buddhist ritual as performed in Nepal is the Vajracarya priest's crown. Five examples presented in this exhibition create a cosmic field into which viewers enter, encircled by paintings of ritual performance. The exhibition is occasioned by the recent acquisition of a superb early Vajracarya crown dating to the thirteenth or early fourteenth century; this is joined by an eighteenth-century crown already in the collection and two others recently discovered in the Department of Arms and Armor. Bronze and wooden ritual utensils, Nepalese cloth paintings, and archival photographs of ritual enactment complete the exhibition.
The exhibition is made possible by The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Foundation Fund and Dipti B. and Rakesh Mathur.
"Crowns of the Vajra Masters: Cosmos, Power, and Ritual," a Now at The Met blog post by Aurora Graldi, Fellow in Asian Art
Vajracarya's ritual crown, 13th century. Nepal, Early Malla period. Gilt-copper alloy inlaid with semiprecious stones, 12 x 9 x 8 1/4 in. (30.5 x 22.9 x 21 cm). The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Barbara and David Kipper, 2016 (2016.408)