Donald Rubin is Co-Founder of the Rubin Museum of Art and Co-Chair of the Board of Trustees. He also serves as the museum’s CEO. Shelley and Donald Rubin started collecting Himalayan art in the early 1970s and amassed a large and significant collection, a major portion of which was given to the museum to seed its nascent collection. He was the founder of MultiPlan, Inc., a major general service PPO health provider. He serves on the board of The Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and is a member of the Global Philanthropists Circle.
Question: How do you contribute to Buddhist scholarship?
Rubin: Ten years ago, we started a website called himalayanart.org and that is [IB] Foundation on 17th Street. We have three fulltime people. It’s been in existence for 10 years and we have somewhere between 30 and 40,000 pieces of art on the website most of them with descriptions. We have the collections from The Met and Natural History and Sackler and Boston and Philadelphia Fine Arts Collections on the web and many, many museums. And we are in the process of working with museums to give us images electronically for us to put on. And a lot of the images that are run we have scholars that work on dating them, describing them, and you might want to look at that website because I think it’s very important. You might even want to bring it up on your screen if you have. That’s one we do. The other one we have, that’s in my office on 17 West 17. The other one we do there is a website that we have probably provide, pay up the funding for Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center headed by Jean Gene Smith and we provide free rent and services for him for many, many years. He has 10 fulltime people working with him and he is the most important Buddhist scholar in the world with literature manuscripts, and he has this website that has all of these manuscripts on a website so that they could be looked at in the monasteries and the schools and you can do it everywhere.