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T+L Reports: State of Bliss

After 18 months of difficult negotiations, the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California—trumping bigger and better-known institutions—brings some of Tibet's most sacred art to the West for the first time. "Tibet: Treasures from the Roof of the World" (through May 16) includes nearly 200 sculptures, paintings, textiles, and rare gold-and-ivory prayer wheels, borrowed from the Tibet Museum and the Dalai Lama's 1,000-room Potala Palace in Lhasa. Offering further enlightenment, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art presents "The Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art" (through January 4), with some 160 Himalayan Buddhist treasures from Tibet, Mongolia, India, China, and Nepal. Among them: watercolors of deities, a recently discovered 19th-century illuminated manuscript, and a group of sculptures, representing Buddhist tantras, in wood, metal, and stone. The most remarkable piece in the show?A seven-foot sand-particle Chakrasamvara mandala dedicated to the god of spiritual compassion, created on-site last month by Tibetan monks.
—Kim Levin

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