Tuesday, October 20, 2015

peak experience

I arrived in New York today for a week of work and family fun, and mentioned to my hostess in Harlem that I love discovering new museums. 
She promptly dispatched me to the Nicholas Roerich Museum in an elegant, airy townhouse near Riverside Drive and the city's best bagels (made by Thai immigrants). 
Roerich was a set designer, born in St Petersburg, and in his landscape paintings, he expresses divinity. 
He drew on various religious traditions including Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist, unifying them in landscapes. 
And he drew on his travels in Asia with his wife, travels that took them to India, Nepal, Tibet, and Pakistan in the 1920s and 1930s. 
None of this seems unusual today, but it's hard to imagine the challenges of traveling in remote areas of Asia between world wars without airplanes or high-speed rail or smartphones.
I was also struck by the casual materials: mostly acrylic, often tempera paint on cardboard. 

Roerich did well for himself, well enough to acquire this exquisite townhouse where free concerts and poetry readings are held. 
Stop by, and visit this home of a true traveler. Maybe you'll discover what's sacred in the world around us.