Nicholas Roerich Museum

Nicholas Roerich Museum The mission of the Nicholas Roerich Museum is to make available to the public the full range of Roerich’s accomplishments.
(83)

Look closely at Roerich’s “Shambale Daik” (1931) and you will see the figure of an archer, set against a mottled, almost...
02/25/2020

Look closely at Roerich’s “Shambale Daik” (1931) and you will see the figure of an archer, set against a mottled, almost tapestry-like rock. For Roerich, the archer had particular significance. In “Himalayas-Abode of Light,” he writes about the “ancient art of archery” and how the “hill men still know their noble art, and the arrows shall certainly reach the hearts of Kanchenjunga’s enemies.”

Roerich makes another interesting comparison between the archer and the traveler. He writes that the “sensitive traveler,” who is willing to exchange his city life for a life among the mountains, has a reverence and “exalted feeling” towards natural beauty. It is this feeling, he writes, that has the same meaning as the “bevy of archers who stand vigilant, ready to guard the beauty and treasures of Kanchenjunga.” This traveler, then, has his own fighting spirit. Roerich himself was this kind of traveler, who not only displayed resilience in surviving his travels but also had a protective spirit about the cultures he encountered along the way. The effort to preserve and protect culture is echoed in all of Roerich’s writing, so it is no surprise that he felt such a kinship with these ancient archers.

If you’d like to read more from “Himalayas-Abode of Light,” please visit our website, roerich.org, where you can find the full text and buy the book.

“Command of the Master” is one of Roerich’s last paintings, completed in in 1947, when he was seventy-two. The painting ...
02/24/2020

“Command of the Master” is one of Roerich’s last paintings, completed in in 1947, when he was seventy-two. The painting depicts a bird carrying a message or a command from the “Master,” to the aspirant, who is meditating on a high cliff overlooking a mountain valley.

At the time of his death, Roerich had produced a staggering amount of work, as well as many volumes of books, letters, and articles. From the time he graduated the art academy to his death, Roerich was remarkably prolific, and his output didn’t cease as he got older. In fact, during the last decade of his life, he was completing about three paintings or sketches per week.

If you’d like a print of this painting, please visit our website, roerich.org, where you can order one from our online gift shop. You can also buy one if you visit our museum in person.

How do you convey a storm in a few brushstrokes of tempera on cardboard? In “Mountain Pass. Storm” (1936), there is no m...
02/23/2020

How do you convey a storm in a few brushstrokes of tempera on cardboard? In “Mountain Pass. Storm” (1936), there is no more than a hint that a downpour is happening. Instead, Roerich focuses on the consequences of that storm on the people passing through it. What is so brilliant about this sketch is that the shape of the mountain range in the background mimics the shape and angle of the three tiny figures in the foreground. Both mountains and figures are leaning to the right, as if to brace themselves against the storm. The lighter parts of the sky are bare cardboard and you can see a faint indication of a downpour with a wash of color going diagonally downwards. We get the feeling of what it is like to be going through the storm, and that experience is amplified by the mountains. It’s almost as if the mountains, though immobile and immune to the storm, embody the storm and struggle alongside the human figures.

Excerpt from the book “Himavat” by Nicholas Roerich. Read the full text on our website roerich.org, where you can also o...
02/22/2020

Excerpt from the book “Himavat” by Nicholas Roerich.
Read the full text on our website roerich.org, where you can also order a physical copy. Or, if you have a chance to visit our museum in person, you can buy a copy in our gift shop.

The image depicted is “Three Glaives. Sketch,” painted by Roerich in 1932.

Although Roerich’s “The Tablets of the Commandments” (1931) has thematic significance in the figure crouched over the ro...
02/21/2020

Although Roerich’s “The Tablets of the Commandments” (1931) has thematic significance in the figure crouched over the rock, inscribing the Commandments into the rock face, the way Roerich has set up the composition is equally, if not more, interesting. Roerich is a master at creating balanced compositions and this is no exception. The large shape of the cloud on the right hand side of the painting is anchored by the tiny sliver of the moon on the top left hand side. And the cloud’s movement is countered by the slope of the rock face in the other direction. It is that tension of opposites that creates such a visually striking yet satisfying image.

This loosely ties into Roerich’s own focus on the unified nature of religions such as Christianity and Buddhism rather than the specific contents of the teachings. In “Altai-Himalaya,” he wrote that “the commandments of Jesus and of Buddha lie upon one shelf” and that “the teachings of Jesus and Buddha are leading all nations into one family.” In this painting, Roerich focuses on the awe-inspiring landscape rather than exactly what the figure is inscribing.

If you’d like to read more from “Altai-Himalaya,” where the quotation above is from, please go to our website, roerich.org, where you can find the full text and buy the book.

Excerpt from the book “The Invincible” by Nicholas Roerich. Read the full text on our website, roerich.org, where you ca...
02/20/2020

Excerpt from the book “The Invincible” by Nicholas Roerich.
Read the full text on our website, roerich.org, where you can also order a physical copy. Or, if you have a chance to visit our museum in person, you can buy a copy in our gift shop.

The image depicted is part of “Sacred Himalayas,” painted by Roerich in 1933. You can see the full size image on our website.

In his writings, Roerich made many comparisons between different landscapes and cultural iconography across the world. B...
02/19/2020

In his writings, Roerich made many comparisons between different landscapes and cultural iconography across the world. But there was one category in which Roerich had a clear favorite. For him, of all the mountain ranges in the world, the Himalayas were superior. In “Himavat,” he says that “it would be a rather unfortunate and feeble effort to compare the Himalayas with any of the other splendid mountain ranges of the world.” There was a “multiform Beauty” about the Himalayas that fueled Roerich’s creativity and made it the subject of the majority of his paintings.

More specifically, Roerich describes the Himalayas as having “tropical approaches, Alpine slopes and, finally, all the incalculable glaciers, powdered with meteoric dust.” Pictured here is “Glaciers of Lahul,” (1936) which depicts those glaciers as icy blue threads weaving through the rocks.

If you’d like to read “Himavat” online or purchase a copy of the book, please visit our website: roerich.org

In his travel diaries, Roerich often notes unexpected discoveries during his explorations of the remote, mountainous reg...
02/18/2020

In his travel diaries, Roerich often notes unexpected discoveries during his explorations of the remote, mountainous regions of Central Asia—both things he saw and things he heard. While he was in Nagchu, a city in northern Tibet, he noted that locals told him that “to the North of the Dangra-Yumtso lake, among the open stony uplands, some sixteen thousand feet high, there is situated a fertile valley yielding regular crops. Near Lhasa, in some court-yards, hot springs may be found, which supply an entire household.” ("Heart of Asia") Roerich’s depiction of Dangra Yumtso, pictured here, follows that story, from the stony uplands in the foreground to the lake in the middle that almost blends into the mountains in the distance.⠀

You can read the full text and purchase a copy of "Heart of Asia" on our website: roerich.org.

There’s been a slight change in our opening hours. Don’t worry—we’ll still be open the same amount of time. But on Frida...
11/04/2019

There’s been a slight change in our opening hours. Don’t worry—we’ll still be open the same amount of time. But on Fridays the Museum will open at 2pm and close at 7pm. If you’ve ever wanted to stop by after work but never had a chance to during our 12-4pm hours, this is your chance. Strolling through our galleries is a great way to finish off your week. All other hours will remain the same: Tuesday-Thursday noon to 4pm, and Saturday/Sunday 2-5pm.

Our museum now has an exciting addition to our gallery space: glass-paneled cabinets that display various sketches and d...
09/23/2019

Our museum now has an exciting addition to our gallery space: glass-paneled cabinets that display various sketches and drawings by Roerich. In this photo, in the left cabinet, you can see some of Roerich’s earliest work, completed while he was a student. If you’re already familiar with Roerich’s work, we hope that the contents of these cabinets will enrich your experience in the galleries. If you’re stopping by for the first time, they will give you a broader perspective of Roerich’s style and process.

Roerich was fascinated by the rich history of the white horse in myths, legends and folklore across all cultures. From h...
08/05/2019

Roerich was fascinated by the rich history of the white horse in myths, legends and folklore across all cultures. From his writings, we know that he was aware of all of its incarnations, from the horse of St. George, to the steeds of the Germanic Valkyries, to the horse of Gesar Khan, the great hero of ancient Asia.

He emphasizes that the white horse in folklore always belongs to the hero. However, he says, “sometimes the white horse brings alone the great message.” The white horse appears several times throughout Roerich’s work, including “White Stone,” pictured here, which he painted in 1933. The painting references the Tibetan legend of Erdeni Mori, the “jewel-bearing horse,” who descends from the mountains with a jewel on his saddle. This jewel is the Chintamani, the miraculous stone that is thought to be preordained to save the world at the appointed hour.

In his books and diaries, Roerich writes about how he saw imagery related to this legend in the local temples and monasteries he passed by on his travels throughout Asia. In the photograph below, taken recently at the Lamayuru Monastery, a Tibetan Buddhist Monastery in Leh, you can clearly see just how closely Roerich observed and took inspiration from the places he visited.

*photo copyright Gvido Trepsa

Pictured here is “Milarepa, The One Who Harkened,” painted in 1925 and part of Roerich’s Banners of the East series. Mil...
07/29/2019

Pictured here is “Milarepa, The One Who Harkened,” painted in 1925 and part of Roerich’s Banners of the East series. Milarepa, who lived in the 12th century, is one of the most famous Tibetan yogis and poets. He is known for having embraced Buddhism despite a troubled past and for becoming an exemplar of dedication and mastery.

On the bottom left, you’ll see a photo of the Lamayuru monastery in Ladakh. Inside the the monastery is the Naropa cave (bottom center), the actual place where Naropa, Milarepa’s teacher, meditated for several years. The statue in the photograph is one of Naropa in the canonical pose used for representing both Naropa and Milarepa. On the bottom right, you can see another example of Milarepa in this canonical pose from a recent auction at Christie’s. Roerich visited Lamayuru and must have seen this statue, which no doubt inspired his painting of Milarepa.

If you’d like to see this painting in person, please visit our museum. Our hours are listed on our website, roerich.org.

*Photos copyright Gvido Trepsa

Our museum is pleased to finally announce an addition to our collection: “Monhegan” (pictured), painted in 1922. It is t...
07/23/2019

Our museum is pleased to finally announce an addition to our collection: “Monhegan” (pictured), painted in 1922. It is the third painting we own from Roerich’s ‘Monhegan’ series and one that can be considered a true masterpiece.

Monhegan Island, located ten miles off the coast of Maine, has been a magnet for many generations of American artists. The island is renowned for its primeval forests, jagged rock formations, and gritty beaches, all of which inspired Roerich when he visited during the summer of 1922. This trip preceded his travels throughout Central Asia, during which he painted the Himalayan landscapes he is best known for. Not only did Monhegan provide a unique, richly textured landscape for Roerich to play with on canvas, but it also primed him to continue exploring the nuances of rock formations in his later work.

This painting is truly best seen in person, as the vivid blues and greens are evocative of those carefree childhood summers we always want to return to. You can see this in the second floor gallery, so be sure to stop by and experience it in person if you have the chance.

April 15th marks the day when the Roerich Pact was signed as a treaty in the White House, in 1935, in the presence of Pr...
04/15/2019

April 15th marks the day when the Roerich Pact was signed as a treaty in the White House, in 1935, in the presence of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, by all the members of the Pan-American Union (http://www.roerich.org/roerich-pact.php).

In 1954, in the wake of massive destruction of cultural heritage during the Second World War the international Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict was adopted at The Hague (Netherlands). Its preamble stated that it was guided by the principles established in the Roerich Pact.

Today the Roerich Pact continues to inspire people all over the world (e.g. http://banderadelapaz.org). In a number of countries this day is now celebrated as the Universal Day of Culture.

Cherished memories of Daniel Entin and the legendary singer Irina Arkhipova.
12/30/2018

Cherished memories of Daniel Entin and the legendary singer Irina Arkhipova.

04/11/2018

Please note that the Museum will be closed this Saturday, April 14th due to our ongoing construction efforts. We will be open on Sunday, the 15th, during our usual hours: 2-5pm.

04/03/2018

The Museum will be undergoing major construction in the lobby area until the end of April. We will still be open with all galleries accessible, except for a few days which will be announced. We ask that if you are planning a visit to the Museum and are able to reschedule your visit until May, that you do so. Otherwise, you are welcome to come, but please keep in mind that there will be occasional construction noise, there will be fewer paintings on view, and one of the galleries will accommodate the museum shop. Please keep an eye on the website and our page for updates on when our closing dates will be. We apologize for any inconvenience. Our goal, as always, is to make visiting the Museum a better experience for all and we appreciate your patience.

If you've ever visited the Roerich Museum, you know that, for the most part, it's a pretty quiet place. Now, imagine 2,0...
02/23/2018

If you've ever visited the Roerich Museum, you know that, for the most part, it's a pretty quiet place. Now, imagine 2,000 people viewing Roerich's work in one day. That's what was claimed to have happened on one Saturday in 1920 at the Kingore Galleries, then located at 668 Fifth Avenue.

Pictured here you see a review of that exhibition published in the New York Herald on December 26th, 1920. The reviewer, Henry McBride, describes the exhibition of Roerich's work as a smashing success, at least as far as attendance was concerned. His number of 2,000 is, on second thought, almost certainly impossible. The real number may have been one zero less, but it still tells us that the exhibition was popular.
McBride admits that "the name Roerich is not a household word in America," and yet the exhibition drew quite a crowd. The reviewer had to wait six liftfuls of people to go up before he could get there himself. And it was so packed that he could only see the tops of the paintings.
He wonders how Roerich's work drew these crowds, saying that entrepreneurs and managers of galleries would be wise to take note of how successful art exhibitions can be.
He attributes the success to the number of Russian emigres who were already familiar with Roerich's work, suggesting that Americans would do well to become more acquainted with Russian art and culture.
He does offer some interesting views on Roerich's work. "What shall we make of Prof. Roerich," he asks. "His art is almost too vivid for our academy." He does have a critical view of the work, saying that "Prof. Roerich is a little too fond of tricks. But on the whole his work is rugged and truly Russian." Comparing Roerich to Bakst, whose work was exhibited in New York before, he writes "Prof. Roerich, like Bakst, has not been content with the wide horizons of his native land and has looked beyond them at strange stylistic gods. Bakst was enamored of cosmopolitanism, but Roerich looked in one direction only--toward the East."
McBride's review is a fascinating view into how Roerich's work was received while he was still alive, and it gives us some insight in what the art world was like in the early part of the 20th century.

Please note that due to a high volume of patrons for our Sunday afternoon concerts, we have decided to introduce require...
02/20/2018
Roerich Museum Concert: Mozart, Schumann, Poulenc, Milhoud

Please note that due to a high volume of patrons for our Sunday afternoon concerts, we have decided to introduce required registration. Admission to the concerts is still free, but you must register and have your ticket with you. Patrons without tickets will be admitted only if we have empty seats shortly before the performance starts. To register, in the future, please follow the link that will be provided on the website. For the upcoming concert on March 4th, the link to register is: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/roerich-museum-concert-mozart-schumann-poulenc-milhoud-tickets-43293386685

John McCauley (piano), Michael Peng (violin), Keiko Kobayashi (clarinet) play Mozart, Schumann, Poulenc, Milhoud For the full program, please follow this link:http://roerich.org/concerts/recital-2018-3-4.pdf Tickets are free but registration is required.

Today marks the 115th anniversary of George Roerich’s birth. We’re celebrating by taking a look at his achievements in t...
08/16/2017

Today marks the 115th anniversary of George Roerich’s birth. We’re celebrating by taking a look at his achievements in the field of Tibetan studies, as well as his role in the Roerichs' travels.
Born in 1902 to Nicholas and Helena Roerich, George grew up in St. Petersburg and took an early interest in history. His mother wrote that he “showed love for history and soldiers. He had thousands of them. His passion for the art of war has survived until now. Strategy is his pet subject.”
George showed early potential for becoming a serious student and scholar. In his teens, he studied Egyptology and Mongolian language and history, going on to study at the Indo-Iranian Department of the London University School for Oriental Languages.
George accompanied his parents on their trip to America in 1920. He transferred to Harvard University and studied in the Indian Philology Department, deepening his knowledge and passion for East Asian languages. He continued his studies at Paris University in Sorbonne, graduating with a masters degree in Indian Philology.
In 1925, together with his family, he embarked on the four-year Central Asia Expedition. His abilities as translator were invaluable, as his knowledge of Tibetan and Mongolian proved crucial in communicating with locals. The expedition allowed George to apply his studies and gave him the opportunity to do his own independent research, which eventually became the book “Trails to Inmost Asia,” published in 1930.
Another result of the expedition was the formation of the Himalayan Research Institute. George was the director for 10 years and collaborated with Tibetan scholars to publish a Tibetan English Dictionary in 1934.
George stayed in India, in the Roerich home in Kulu Valley, until 1957, two years after Helena Roerich's death. During his time in India, he continued his work in writing, research and translation. Among other projects, he translated “Blue Annals,” an early work of Tibetan history.
After his return to Russia, George became the Head of the Indology Department in the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow. Along with continuing his academic research, he made efforts to restore the Roerichs' legacy in the USSR.
He died in Moscow, in 1960, at the age of 58.
He is pictured here in 1929.

Address

319 W 107th St
New York, NY
10025

Opening Hours

Tuesday 12:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 12:00 - 16:00
Thursday 12:00 - 16:00
Friday 12:00 - 16:00
Saturday 14:00 - 17:00
Sunday 14:00 - 17:00

Telephone

(212) 864-7752

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Nicholas Roerich Museum posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Nicholas Roerich Museum:

Category

Nearby museums


Other Art Museums in New York

Show All