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Cover thumbnail for EXH - 2020 Wisdom, Compassion and Wrath EXH - 2020 Wisdom, Compassion and Wrath

Wisdom, Compassion and Wrath: The Many Faces of Female Buddhist Deities – Intern Exhibition Online For over two millennia, Buddhist practitioners have aspired to liberate themselves and all other living beings from the suffering of saṃsāra—a Sanskrit term which refers to the never-ending cycle of death and rebirth endured by all inhabitants of the six Buddhist realms of existence. In order to transcend saṃsāra, Buddhists strive to rid themselves of the source of suffering—the “three poisons” of attachment, aversion, and ignorance—and thereby attain a state of spiritual awakening or “enlightenment” known as nirvāṇa. The path to nirvāṇa is long, taxing, and littered with obstacles. However, in the Mahāyāna Buddhist traditions of East Asia and the Vajrayāna traditions of the Himalayas, practitioners may call upon the guidance of deities to assist them. Although the majority of these deities are male, the Mahāyāna and Vajrayāna Buddhist pantheons also feature a number of formidable female deities. This exhibition highlights paintings and sculptures of female Buddhist deities from the Scripps College art collection that illustrate the complexity and indispensability of the divine feminine in Buddhism. The deities featured here assume an array of forms personifying divine wisdom, great compassion, and terrifying wrath, all to assist practitioners on their spiritual journeys to nirvāṇa. This exhibition was curated by Anabella Walser (SC ’22), the Peggy Phelps Curatorial Intern for the Summer of 2020. Special thanks go to Dr. Zhiru Ng at Pomona College, professor of religious studies and coordinator of Asian studies, and Meher McArthur, the Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler curator of academic programs and collections at Scripps College, for their guidance. The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Peggy Phelps, a former Claremont Graduate University trustee, compassionate philanthropist, and generous patron of the arts. -Anabella Walser ’22, Peggy Phelps Curatorial Intern

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Guanyin

Chinese Anonymous
Glaze on Porcelain
19th c Vietnam Sculpture

Seated Guanyin Bodhisattva

Asia Unknown
Gilt Bronze
19th-20th century China Chinese Statuary

Multi-Armed Deity Marici

Zhou Benmu
Paint on Paper
18th c China Ch'ing Painting

Quan Am with Child

Vietnamese Anonymous
Gold on Wood
20th c Vietnam Southeast Asian Statuary

Seated Tara

Nepal Anonymous
Bronze
16th c Nepalese Chinese Statuary

Statuette of Tara

China Anonymous
Bronze
18th c Sino-Tibetan East Asian Statuary

Tibetan Thangka Painting

Tibet Anonymous
Tempera on Silk
18th c Tibet Scroll


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