Charles and Jeannette Kessler donated 140 items, from antique Ban Chiang pottery, antique textiles and Tibetian photographs. Jeannette Kessler was an avid collector of antique textiles. Some pieces she bought to show and some she had made into clothes. In all over 60 textiles from South East Asia are part of this collection.
Charles Kessler made several trips to Tibet in 1999 and 2000. Kessler, an amateur photographer, was fascinated by the people he met there and created a photography exhibit, “Faces of Tibet” which has been exhibited in galleries previously. These are 67 images from that exhibit that are part of this collection. The photographs were taken with a LeichaM6 Camera on his travels.
The following is a note from Charles Kessler on his thoughts behind the Faces of Tibet exhibit.
Faces of Tibet
Tibet is a land with spectacular scenery. However, during my visits I found the people of Tibet just as spectacular and chose to concentrate my photography on them. There is only one photograph without people in the exhibit.
In May, 1999 I flew to Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, from Chengdu in southwest China. I was not part of a tour group, but through a Chinese travel agency, I had hired a car, driver and guide. As we drove through Tibet, we would stop to photograph people; their faces were fascinating.
In February, 2000 I returned to photograph the people and festivities of the Tibetan New Year. Buddhists came from throughout Tibet to worship at Jokhang Temple, the most sacred temple in Tibet, and other temples in Lhasa. Worshipers stood for hours in the cold and darkness waiting for Jokhang to open. There were long lines at many of the temples throughout the day. I did not see police or soldiers in the vicinity of any temple.
A word about altitude. Lhasa is at 12,100 feet above sea level and much of Tibet is at least that high. On the road to Namtso Lake, we crossed a pass at 16,500 feet. Although the human eye can adjust to the altitude, the camera's film cannot. The brillant blue light must be filtered either by the camera or when the negative is printed.
Prayer flag colors are important to Tibetans and have special meanings:
Red - Fire
Yellow - Earth
Green - Water
Blue - Sky
White - Clouds
I hope that you enjoy looking at the photographs as much as I enjoyed taking them.
Camera: Leica M6
Lenses: Leica Summicron f2, 35 mm; Lecia Elmarit f2.8. 90mm
Film: Kodak: Pro 100; Porta 160 and 400VC
Paper: Printed by Naples Custom Photo on Kodak professional paper