Dina Bangdel

Director of Art History



South Asian and Himalayan Art


  • PhD, The Ohio State University
  • MA University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • BA Bryn Mawr College


Dina Bangdel is a historian of South Asian and Himalayan art, with secondary areas of interest relating to issues of gender and identity in South Asian contemporary art and film. Her interests in the early modern period focus on the ritual and ideological functions of Buddhist art in South Asia, including theories of ritual performance and politics of identity. 

Her research focuses on the art and ritual traditions of Newar Buddhism in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal and the development of Tantric Buddhist iconography of the Himalayan regions, principally Nepal and Tibet. Her research and teaching include contemporary South Asian art, and her current publication “Contemporary Nepali Art: Narratives of Modernity and Visuality” draw on social history, post-colonial and feminist theory.  

She has also curated several exhibitions, including Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art (2003, finalist for the Alfred Barr Award for best exhibition catalogue) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Pilgrimage and Faith: Buddhism, Christianity and Islam (2010) at the Rubin Museum, New York, Prakriti Speaks: Contemporary Nepali Art (2011) in Mumbai.  Dr Bangdel teaches courses on the art and architecture of South Asia, visual cultures of Tibet and Nepal, contemporary arts of South Asia, and South Asian film. She is Associate Professor and Director of the Art History program at Virginia Commonwealth University-Qatar. 

Research Interests

  • The art and ritual traditions of Newar Buddhism 
  • The developmnet of tantric Buddhist iconography 
  • South Asian Art



  1. Jewels of Newar Art. Kathmandu: Siddhartha Art Gallery, 2011.
  2. Pilgrimage and Faith: Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam. Edited by Virginia Raguin and Dina Bangdel, with F.E. Peters. Chicago: Serindia Publications, 2010.
  3. Editor, Outside the Nation: Memoirs of a Nepalese Artist in Paris 1952-61 (Nepali). Kathmandu: Ratna Pustak Bhandar, 2010. (Awarded “Book of the Year Award” Ministry of Education, Nepal, 2010)
  4. Editor, Sculpture of King Jayavarma and the Varma Dynasty of Nepal. (Nepali). Kathmandu, Nepal: Mandala Publication, 2005.
  5. Against the Current: Life of Lain Bangdel, Painter, Writer, and Art Historian of Nepal, with Don Messerschmidt. Bangkok: Orchid Press. 2004.
  6. Circle of Bliss: Buddhist Meditational Art. with John. C. Huntington. Foreword by Robert A.F. Thurman. Columbus and Chicago: Columbus Museum of Art and Serindia Publications, 2003.  Finalist.  2005 Alfred Barr Jr. Award. College Art Association. 

Book Chapters:

  1. “Contemporary Nepali Art: Narratives of Modernity and Visuality.” Nepal: Nostalgia and Modernity. Mumbai: Marg Publications, 2011. 
  2. “Visual Histories of Svayambhu Mahacaitya: The Mandala Iconography of the Great Stupa,” Light of the Valley: Renewing the Sacred Art and Traditions of Svayambhu, edited by Tsering Gellek and Padma Maitland. Berkeley, California: Dharma Publishing, 2011.

 Forthcoming Publication:

  1. The Art of Newar Buddhism. Chicago: Serindia Publications. (Under contract, forthcoming 2014).
  2. Associate Editor, Cambridge History of Religious Architecture: Buddhism (under contract with Cambridge University Press; Forthcoming 2014-15).