An Evening with Georges Dreyfus Slated for March 9

Press Contact: Rebecca Dravis, Communications Manager, 413-597-3127; [email protected]

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — In conjunction with the exhibition Across Shared Waters: Contemporary Artists in Dialogue with Tibetan Art from the Jack Shear Collection, Georges Dreyfus will give a talk titled “What is a tantric deity and how to become one” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 9, at the Williams College Museum of Art.

Dreyfus, a professor in the Department of Religion at Williams College, spent fifteen years in Buddhist monasteries before receiving in 1985 the title of Geshe, the highest degree conferred by Tibetan monastic universities. He has published several books, including The Sound of Two Hands Clapping: The Education of a Tibetan Buddhist Monk, and many articles on various aspects of Buddhist philosophy and Tibetan culture.

Dreyfus will explain the theory behind the deities that one finds on traditional Tibetan Buddhist rolled paintings, or thangka. The majority of the talk will focus on the tantric practices these works aim to depict and support, while touching briefly on their ritual use. The talk will last about 45 minutes with time for Q&A from the audience afterwards.

Across Shared Waters: Contemporary Artists in Dialogue with Tibetan Art from the Jack Shear Collection presents works by contemporary artists of Himalayan heritage alongside thangka from the Jack Shear Collection, a juxtaposition that highlights the richness and diversity of Tibetan artistic expression and fosters greater understanding and appreciation of Himalayan histories and identities. The exhibition runs through July 16.

The galleries will be open from 6 to 7 p.m. to allow guests a chance to see the exhibition before the talk. For more information, contact the museum at 413-597-2429 or visit

WCMA is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free.