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Vision: Shelley & Donald Rubin

Rubin Museum of Art



September 19, 2009 at 7pm | Cipriani | 55 Wall Street, New York, NY 10005

Co-Founders & Chairs - Rubin Museum of Art

Shelley and Donald Rubin have been collecting Himalayan art for more than 30 years. Begun as a hobby, their collecting became a passion and, as their collection grew, so did their belief that they had a responsibility to preserve and share the art they loved. Their first endeavor towards making the art accessible was Himalayan Art Resources, a website with the mission to catalog and exhibit Himalayan art from collections around the world. is now a comprehensive and definitive archive encompassing the art of the entire Himalayan region. As the website took shape, the Rubins began to plan their next project: the establishment of a museum founded on the premise that art provides avenues and insights into the ideas, values and sensibilities of others, and, in turn, enriches the understanding of oneself and one’s culture. The Rubin Museum of Art (RMA) opened in New York City in October of 2004. Its dual missions are to collect and preserve the art of the Himalayas and to contribute to the growing interest in Himalayan art and culture by providing a forum for learning about this unique region through its vibrant artistic traditions. Among its many exhibitions, the museum has presented I See No Stranger: Early Sikh Art and Devotion (September 18, 2006-January 29, 2007).

Prior to the conception of building a museum Shelley and Donald Rubin started a foundation with the aim of supporting innovative efforts to transform society's institutions, thereby making them more responsible, and to empower individuals to develop their full potential. Among its many projects the foundation has supported the creation of the Labor Arts Project ( whose mission it is to gather, identify and display examples of the cultural and artistic history of working people and to ensure the trade union movement’s contributions to that history are recognized.

Donald Rubin retired as the Founder and Chairman of MultiPlan, Inc., one of the oldest healthcare networks in the country which he founded in 1970. Shelley and Donald Rubin sit on the Board of RMA. Shelley F.  Rubin, an active member of the Board of Trustees of RMA also serves on the Boards of, Human Rights Watch and The Tibetan Buddhist Resource Center (TBRC), which was founded to advance the preservation of the Tibetan cultural heritage by making its literary tradition widely available in the form of digital images.