The Rubin Museum of Art is dedicated to the collection, display, and preservation of the art and cultures of the Himalayas, India and neighboring regions, with a permanent collection focused particularly on Tibetan art.
The museum originated from a private collection of Himalayan art which Donald and Shelley Rubin had been assembling since 1974.
In 1998, the Rubins paid $22 million for the building that had been occupied by Barneys New York, a designer fashion department store that had filed for bankruptcy.
Besides exhibitions based on the museum's permanent collection, it also serves as a venue for national and international traveling exhibitions.
The exhibit was to remain on view until 2014, with yearly rotations of specific objects.
The Rubin Museum offers an array of on- and off-site educational programs, as well as public programs such as talks and discussions; film screenings; live music, dance, poetry and other performances; and art demonstrations.