A Prayer for Art

September 14, 2009

In preparation for the opening of our Korean permanent collection galleries, five Buddhist monks visited LACMA on Wednesday morning to bless the art, and in particular, The Pensive Bodhisattva, a national treasure on loan from Korea. I was privileged to be among a small group invited to partake in the ceremony, which introduced me to an art experience profoundly different from any other I’ve had. For a half an hour, two dozen of us kneeled, rose, and bowed barefoot before the sculpture, listened to the rhythmic chant of the monks, and prayed for peace, happiness, and the well-being of the museum. Our AV department shot video of this remarkable experience to share with you all; for those interested in creating a spiritual experience of their own in the galleries, pads for meditation have been left in The Pensive Bodhisattva’s space.

Allison Agsten