Cover image for Tibetan rescue : the extraordinary quest to save the sacred art treasures of Tibet
Tibetan rescue : the extraordinary quest to save the sacred art treasures of Tibet
Logan, Pamela.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Boston : Tuttle Pub., [2000]

Physical Description:
ix, 227 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
ND2849.T5 L64 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



This text chronicles Logan's journey across snow-covered mountains, through sparsely-populated provinces and into the remotest parts of Eastern Tibet to save sacred art treasures. It weaves the story of her travels with the history and culture behind the art she attempts to save.

Author Notes

Pamela Logan has been working and traveling on the Tibetan plateau since 1990. She earned her doctorate in aerospace science from Stanford University and has taught engineering at Cal Tech, but has devoted her time for the last decade to the preservation of Tibetan culture

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

After earning a Ph.D. in aerospace technology and a black belt in karate, Logan traveled to Tibet in search of fellow martial artists, the subject of Among Warriors (1998). Her next quest, a far more complicated and demanding undertaking, involved the restoration of two severely damaged Tibetan Buddhist monasteries, the castlelike Palpung and the small jewel Pewar, with an emphasis on saving their remarkable and imperiled murals, complex and irreplaceable works of spiritual art. Adventurous, hardy, and sweetly matter-of-fact in the face of numerous disasters (an attack by wild dogs, illness, landslides, obdurate officials, linguistic and cultural confusion, lack of supplies), Logan, a highly motivated American Buddhist, transforms herself into an expedition leader, accountant, fund-raiser, photographer, conservator, and diplomat as she assembles international restoration crews and overcomes myriad obstacles. Not only does she record all the frustrations and triumphs of their travels and conservation efforts with brio but she also portrays an intriguing cast of characters, captures the rugged beauty of Tibet's Derge region, and presents enlightening explications of Tibetan history, religion, and politics. Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

This detailed, informal diary chronicles the work of a woman devoted to a cause. Logan, who jettisoned an academic career (as a professor of physics, no less) after a vacation to Nepal in the mid-1980s, recounts her attempts to preserve the sacred Buddhist artwork of Tibet. She has to overcome numerous obstacles along the way: on one trip, dogs attack her in a monastery (she's saved by a group of monks); later, back at home, the anti-Tibet remarks of an American congressman virtually derail a fund-raising trip for the nonprofit Kham Aid Foundation she created. The temples themselves lodged in unstable buildings with leaky roofs and poor ventilation pose another difficulty. As she writes of one temple, "One more earthquake would surely bring it down, burying murals, treasures and people in the process." Despite these problems, her recovery teams boast significant progress toward preserving some of the world's art treasures. Logan's writing is clear and easily conveys the excitement of her work, but while she is obviously enamored with her subject, she's not above a criticism or two: "I'm a fan of Tibetan culture, but Tibetan medicine fills me with misgiving." The lack of art and historical background or details of conservation techniques (all are oddly placed in the book's appendix) will limit the book's appeal to the general reader. But those interested in art history, Asia and Buddhism are likely to be engaged and perhaps even inspired by Logan's efforts. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Logan (Among Warriors: A Woman Martial Artist in Tibet), an American with a Ph.D. in aerospace, here chronicles her four-year endeavor, beginning in 1994, to restore a monastery in a remote part of Tibet. Divided into five sections, each devoted to a specific "mission," the book centers mainly on the author's maneuvering with the not always cooperative Chinese bureaucracy. Logan also chronicles her journey across some of the most isolated parts of eastern Tibet and gives detailed explanations of Tibetan beliefs according to the murals of the building. Appendixes supply a wealth of additional information on conservation techniques, toponyms, Buddhism, and more. What sets this book apart from most Western writing on the plight of Tibet is that it demonstrates what can be accomplished to preserve and, more important, nurture what remains of the traditional culture. Recommended for larger public and academic libraries supporting interests in Tibet and specializing in conservation of the arts. Harold M. Otness, formerly with Southern Oregon Univ. Lib., Ashland (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

Mapsp. vii
First Mission: 1994p. 1
Second Mission: 1994p. 31
Third Mission: 1995p. 75
Fourth Mission: 1996p. 107
Fifth Mission: 1998p. 139
Epilogue: 1998p. 181
Where are they now?p. 185
Acknowledgmentsp. 189
Appendicesp. 191
I Conservation techniques used for the wall paintings at Pewar Monasteryp. 191
II The Gods of Pewar: An introduction to the murals at Pewar Monasteryp. 197
III A brief introduction to Tibetan Buddhismp. 209
IV Table of Toponymsp. 213
V Monastery buildings and their fate during the years of turmoilp. 215
Indexp. 221