During the past twelve years, international trade in Tibetan art has enjoyed an unprecedented upswing, as buyer demand has confronted limited supply. Prices have risen to dizzying heights, in line with the maxim: "The older the piece, the higher the price." In order to analyze, whether such a development in prices is academically justified, and to establish transparency, Lempertz Auction House of Cologne, Germany, invited nine leading European scholars to present papers on research methods and problems relating to the dating of Tibetan art. The meeting, held amid a circle of collectors and connoisseurs took place on November 17th to 18th, 2001 at the Cologne Museum for East Asian Art and at Lempertz Auction House. This publication presents the revised papers of seven of the nine speakers at the Lempertz Symposium. Their diverging points of view as to the possibilities of dating of Tibetan art are based on different scholarly approaches and reflect the freedom of academic research: The practicing Buddhist and reincarnate high lama Loden Sherap Dagyab Rinpoche subjects the supposedly universal validity of a Western understanding of art to critical examination and confronts the Western view with a different interpretation of reality. Roger Goepper's dating of Sumtsek in Alchi (questioned by Lionel Fournier 2001) is corroborated by new arguments from Goepper himself and from Christian Luczanits. Heather Stoddard presents historical and political facts that place stylistic developments within West-Tibetan art in a new, hitherto unconsidered light. Martin Brauen's reconstruction of an unresolved Swiss court case was a challenge for David Jackson to test the reliability of his own method of dating Tibetan art and to supplement his contribution in this publication accordingly. Jane Casey Singer's scholarly detective work documents just how difficult it is to establish the dating of a work of art with absolute certainty. The intention of the Lempertz Symposium was to ignite open discussion. Further comments on opinions and conclusions expressed in this book are welcome.
Dating Tibetan Art: Essays on the Possibilities and Impossibilities of Chronology from the Lempertz Symposium, Cologne (Contributions to Tibetan Studies) <br> By: Heather Stoddard (Author), Roger Goepper (Author), Ingrid Kreide-Damani (Editor), Dr Ludwig Reichert Verlag, 2003, Hardcover, 144 pp., $52.00.