Acquisitions

The Collection of Phillip Trimble

In June 2019, The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art was pleased to receive a donation of Himalayan artifacts from Ambassador Phillip R. Trimble the United States Ambassador to Nepal 1980-1981. The collection includes a Nepalese Yeti Mask, two black death masks from Bhutan, a Vajra, bell, and ritual skull cup from Nepal, two Tamang masks (male and female), Bhutanese silver bracelets, and other artifacts from Nepal.  In addition, the collection includes three 19th century rugs and a saddle blanket from Tibet. 

 

Phillip R. Trimble was a Professor of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles from 1981 through 2001.  From July 1999 to January 2001 he served as the UCLA Vice-Provost for International Studies and Overseas Programs, based in the College of Letters and Science.

 

In the 1960s Professor Trimble practiced tax and corporate finance law at Cravath, Swaine and Moore.  His subsequent government career included service on the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee under Senator Fulbright (1971-72); Assistant Legal Adviser for Economic and Business Affairs in the Department of State in the Nixon, Ford, and Carter Administrations (1973-78); Counsel to the Mayor and then Deputy Mayor of New York City under Ed Koch (1979-80); and American Ambassador to Nepal at the end of the Carter Administration.  He was a Visiting Professor of Law at the Stanford Law School (1988-89) and at the University of Michigan Law School (1995-96).

 

In his avocation as a mountaineer Professor Trimble climbed on five continents, including expeditions to New Guinea, India, Pakistan, Bhutan, and both Polar Regions.  In 1976 he led the successful American Expedition to Mt. Everest.  Before law school he spent a year as a Fulbright scholar in Burma.  In the 90s he collected contemporary music for Afro Pop Worldwide during a trip to east and central Africa, and was assistant director of two music theatre works in the Netherlands.

 

He is the author of a book on United States Foreign Relations Law (2002) and (with Barry Carter) of an International Law casebook (3rd.ed 1999). Other publications have appeared in the Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Northwestern, Iowa, St. Louis, and UCLA Law Reviews, the Tax Law Review, and numerous international law journals.  He's also published in the American Alpine Journal, the Himalayan Journal, and Birding magazine.

 

Professor Trimble now lives with his wife, Valeria Vasilevski, in New York City and Vermont.

Masks donated by Ambassador Phillip Trimble

The Collection of Dr.Walter Meuly

In the Spring of 2018, the Estate of Walter, Julia, and Caroline Meuly donated a collection of 60 Tibetan and Nepalese artifacts to the Museum. This gift was made by Walter’s grandson, Jeremy Leavitt. The objects were acquired by Walter Meuly in the 1960s and 70s on his many trips to Nepal.

Dr. Walter Meuly (1898-1987) was born in Switzerland and was intrigued with mountains since his boyhood. In a 1975 New York Times article, he said “Even as boy, I was intrigued by mountains, and I used to collect pictures of them from every angle. I believe mountains were made to be seen, and at my age I could not hope to be part of a really big expedition. So I climb as high as it is physically possible for me, and content myself with enjoying the proximity of the mountains.”

Dr. Meuly was a chemist with duPont for 35 years and then worked for Rhodia, the American branch of RhonePoulenc, a French-based chemical company.

In the 1960s, Dr. Meuly, made three trips to Nepal, and spent his 70th birthday at a Buddhist monastery at 14,000 feet.  On Dr. Meuly’s second mountain-climbing trip to Nepal, he fell, broke a rib, and suffered a collapsed lung. Luckily, he had antibiotics in his pack. After emergency treatment in New Delhi, he required surgery upon his return home. Undaunted, Dr. Meuly returned the following year to test his physical prowess and found it restored.

On each trip, he collected art, cultural items, sculptures, and jewelry and assembled a collection of 70 objects, books, and photographs from Nepal. These objects were donated to the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art in the spring of 2018.

Collection of Bill Jones

The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art received a donation of 25 Zan Pars, Tibetan ritual objects, from Mr. Bill Jones of Paris, France. Mr. Jones is a travel industry professional with Geographic Expeditions and National Geographic and is an expert guide in the Himalayan regions of Tibet and Bhutan.

In September 2013, Mr. Jones led a group of Board, staff, supporters, and volunteers from the Tibetan Museum on a tour of Tibet which included the cities of Tse Dang, Lhasa, and Gyantse, and visits to the Jhokang Temple, the Potala Palace and Samye Monastery.

Zan Pars play a vital and important role as a ritual tool. The forms represented are exceedingly diverse and often show great dexterity in carving, especially in their depiction of the animal kingdom. There are representations of birds, beasts, reptiles, insects and fish. There are countless representations of deities and demons that rule over the sky, land and underworld.

Their origin is probably from the pre-Buddhist Bon tradition, though no early written evidence to support this can be found, it can be safely said that torma and dough effigies were being used in Tibet in the 8th Century. Zan Par images are typically used on an altar or in conjunction with a threadcross. The latter is a simple or complex construction of colored threads not dissimilar to the Native American dreamcatcher, the Lama then performs the appropriate ritual where the Zan Par images enter into the threadcross to symbolically remove all negativity.

Bill Jones and Tserring Phuntsok examine ZanPars donated to the Museum.

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