Published Jul 11 2016, by

Lotus Lens Director’s Letter, Summer 2016

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We launched our year with a two-day course on compassion in the workplace, titled Action and Accountability, developed by our friends at Dorrier Underwood Consulting. Almost sixty participants from organizations like the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, American Airlines, and Toyota gathered with the Crow team to explore communication steeped in loving-kindness: speech that is closer to straight talk, yielding swifter results and more mutual understanding of common goals. One might not expect this work in an Asian art museum, but this effort to better know our true nature is beautifully aligned with our study of compassion as it is realized in ourselves, our work, and in our museum.

For the Crow Collection of Asian Art, three primary goals emerged for 2016: Fundraising, Multiculturalism, and Compassion

For the Crow Collection of Asian Art, three primary goals emerged for 2016: Fundraising, Multiculturalism, and Compassion. In tandem with premiering beautiful collections this year from Brooklyn, Chicago, and Mexico City, the Crow team is forging paths to greater independence through the launch of a development office and extending the opportunity of growing this museum to all of you in the community. In January, we received our first gift of significance, inspiring us to delve into new relationships with our beloved donors and partnering with the corporate communities as well.

Thanks to the bright initiative in the education department, multiculturalism has also been a topic of impassioned commitment among our team. I am proud to write that we are looking at our museum with fresh eyes toward mission and vision, and how this collection, forged by Margaret and Trammell Crow, finds relevance in the diverse landscape that is Dallas seventeen years later. We’ve held several internal workshops, increasing our understanding of how we are perceived in the community and how we wish to be known. This new world of broader understanding is a practice of self-compassion and one that will make our museum stronger and more diverse in the future.

In the first quarter of the year, we launched a multi-year Study of Compassion with a series of lectures devoted to this topic and how compassion relates to a human experience of art and healing. A collection of podcasts on compassion will be posted on our website and through social media in the future, as we continue to discover compassion for ourselves in an effort to make connections for others.

The opportunity to explore compassion in the works of Tibetan Buddhism is yours through the summer in Protecting Wisdom: Tibetan Book Covers from the MacLean Collection. Curator Dr. Kathryn Selig Brown’s delightful interview with Dr. Jacqueline Chao in this issue of the Lotus Lens illuminates lessons of compassion as they relate to attainment of enlightenment through wisdom—all captured beneath the delicate repoussé book covers in the esteemed MacLean Collection.

Additionally, Dr. Qing Chang unveils new research of the cinnabar Lacquer vase in the collection, launching an important new commitment toward scholarly research and unprecedented study of our works. I am proud of the board’s attention to this critical and compassionate step towards our future.