Zara Fleming

Independent scholar of Tibetan art

Zara Fleming is an art historian, exhibition curator and lecturer specialising in the art and culture of Tibet, the Himalayas and Mongolia. Initially based at the Victoria & Albert Museum, she has also worked with the Central Asian Department of Bonn University, the Orient Foundation and Asia House and advised on the World Cultures gallery redisplay for World Museum. She has curated many exhibitions and in 2010 co-curated a major exhibition for Asia House, “The Tiger in Asian Art”. She has travelled extensively in Tibet, its border regions and Buddhist climes within Asia and has led tours to Asia for over 30 years. Zara recently co-edited the Serindia publication “Masterpieces of Mongolian Art Vol.1″ and has published many articles in the field of Buddhist art and culture. She is also Vice President of the Tibet Relief Fund of the UK and a trustee of the Richardson Foundation.

In 1981 she acted as Tibetan expert on the first Thomas Cook British tourist expedition inside Tibet in May 1981. It was formally invited by the Chinese mountaineering association and the aim was to go to Everest base camp. Of the 16 days spent in Tibet - 3 in Lhasa, 1 in Gyantse, 2 in Shigatse, 2 in Tingri valley near Everest, 4 at Everest base camp, remainder travelling. The party was made up of 10 tourists; 2 guides from Thomas Cook (1 Chinese, 1 Tibet expert) & 1 Chinese provided interpreter.

She bought 4 samples of woollen cloth for Liverpool Museum during her trip in the bazaar at Lhasa in May 1981.
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