Published by the Rubin Museum of Art in July 2012 and distributed by University of Washington Press, “The Black Hat Eccentric: Artistic Visions of the Tenth Karmapa” is the first publication to focus on works by the hand of a single Tibetan historical artist.
The Tenth Karmapa Choying Dorje (1604-1674) was not only leader of the Karma Kagyu School of Tibetan Buddhism but also famous as a great artistic innovator. One of the most original and eccentric figures in the history of Tibetan art, he combined different compositional and figural models as well as styles, even mixing genres to create a very personal visual idiom full of charm, wit, and humor. A sensitive and playful depiction of animals is especially distinctive, making his works both intimate and directly accessible. The life of this artist is well documented in Tibetan sources, which provide an alternative historical narrative of the tumultous seventeenth century as well as a new perspective on Tibetal art history.
Karl Debreczeny is a curator at the Rubin Museum of Art, New York. Other contributors include Ian Alsop, David Jackson, and Irmgard Mengele.