Most of the objects in these five volumes are rarely known and are published here for the first time. They belong the monasteries and institutions in Tibet, and include a wide range of materials: paintings (both Thangkas and wall paintings), sculptures, manuscripts, excavated relics, and ritual objects. Superbly photographed, each object is fully described.
Volume 1 Prehistoric Age and Tubo Period ranges from stone tools of 50,000 years ago to the sculptures, paintings, and musical instruments of the mid-ninth century. Volume 2 The Period of Separatist Regimes covers mid-ninth to thirteenth century. It highlights surviving wall paintings, sculptures and artifacts from ruined temples. Volume 3 Yuan Dynasty and Ming Dynasty (1206-1644 AD) see increasing Chinese influence and Volume 4 Qing Dynasty presents historical relics between Tibet and the Qing court. Volume 5 Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China includes various minor arts and historical documents.