Museums hold some of the world's most valuable objects, which is why it's befuddling that greasy schoolchildren and uncouth war elephants are their most frequent patrons. Discover a dazzling array of breakable bounty with today's Groupon: for $3, you get one admission (up to a $6 value) to the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art in Staten Island. The museum regularly offers student and senior admission for $4, and children under 6 are free.
The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art transports visitors to snow-capped mountains with impressive collections of artistic and cultural artifacts from Tibet and the Himalayas. This peaceful retreat houses a permanent exhibition of visually stimulating sculptures, thangka paintings, ritual artifacts, musical instruments, and historic photographs of Tibet. Dust off unused eyes and spy exhilarating exhibitions such as the traditional sand mandala painting created by visiting Buddhist monks from Bhutan in 2005.
Built in 1945 to resemble a Tibetan mountain monastery, this historic complex of buildings features Himalayan–style architecture, frolicking fishponds, and relaxing meditation gardens. In addition, the museum features a shop populated by items crafted by the working hands of Tibetan artisans, such as prayer flags, incense, jewelry, and 16th-century mountain roller skates.
Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Housed within a complex designed to resemble a mountainside monastery, the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art immerses visitors within an environment intended to foster a widespread appreciation for the artistic and cultural creations of the Himalayan peoples. The fieldstone buildings were inspired by photographs of the Potala Palace—the historic seat of the Dalai Lamas—and the surrounding landscape features terraced gardens, lotus and goldfish ponds, and secluded nooks for meditation or high-stakes staring competitions. This connection to Himalayan architecture is also apparent in the structures' architectural details, such as a flat roof crowned with a four-sided pagoda, the trapezoidal windows, and the slate-capped doorways. When taken together, all of these architectural and landscaping features allow visitors to lose themselves in the setting while viewing the collection of artwork and culturally relevant artifacts.
The museum's permanent collection focuses on rare and sacred pieces from Tibet and nations influenced by Tibetan Buddhism, such as Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, and northern China. Featuring works from the 12th–20th centuries, this selection includes everything from bronze sculptures and silk-backed scroll paintings to furniture, photographs, and ritualistic objects. Allowing guests to view these items is only one aspect of the museum's mission though. Additionally, the staff members encourage visitors to engage with Himalayan culture by participating in tai chi and guided-meditation classes that the instructors lead on select days.