27 Apr 2012
Hong Kong philanthropy supports Buddhist art studies in London
London is set to seal its status as one of the leading western centres for the study and conservation of Buddhist art, following a remarkable private donation from a Hong Kong benefactor to the Courtauld Institute of Art.
The gift comes from a devout Buddhist, Robert YC Ho, a Hong Kong benefactor who is continuing a family tradition of philanthropy that dates back to the 19th century.
The donation of more than £2.5m allows the Courtauld to establish an endowment for a postgraduate degree devoted to Buddhist art, examining it from the points of view of religion, history and conservation. The new MA programme in Buddhist Art: History and Conservation will examine the vast heritage of Buddhist art, from painted cave temples along the Silk Road that linked Europe to the far east, to colossal sculptures, delicate porcelain artefacts and illuminated manuscripts.
Ho also supported a major Buddhist Art Forum at the Courtauld in early April, bringing together speakers from India, South Korea, China and Bhutan. A greater focus on non-western art has become a firm part of the Courtauld's long-term strategy.
The Ho donations have been made through the Robert HN Ho Family Foundation, a philanthropic organisation founded in 2005 by Ho's father, to promote Chinese culture and an understanding of Buddhism. It also supports Buddhist studies at other universities.
Read the full article in The Guardian
Download the pdf. Courtauld Institute Press Release
Image: Detail of a 17th-century wall painting in the Lama Lhakang, Trongsa Dzong, Bhutan. Photograph: Courtauld Institute and Bhutan department of culture
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