TITLE: A Tour of the Lost Kingdom: Sikkim
SPEAKER: Hope Cooke, Alice Kandell
EVENT DATE: 2010/03/13
RUNNING TIME: 100 minutes
Sikkim was an independent kingdom in the Himalayas ruled by a hereditary line of kings (Chogyal) from the 17th century until it became a British protectorate, then an Indian protectorate in 1950. This 90-minute program will feature a photographic presentation with comments by two special speakers: Her Majesty Hope Cooke, former Queen of Sikkim, and photographer Alice Kandell.
Speaker Biography: Hope Cooke is the former Queen of Sikkim. In 1963, the last Chogyal married Hope Cooke, an American student at Sarah Lawrence College. Cooke then became the Queen of Sikkim and lived with the king and their children during the final years of the kingdom. Due to this fairy-tale romance, Sikkim became well known in America through major magazines and newspapers.
Speaker Biography: Alice Kandell became a frequent visitor to the small, mountainous kingdom and, at the Chogyal's request, embarked on a project to document the Sikkimese folklife through photography. While studying at Harvard University, Dr. Kandell traveled to Sikkim to attend the coronation of Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal, whose wife, Hope Cooke, was a close friend of Dr. Kandell. Dr. Kandell took over 10,000 photographs of Sikkim and its people. She subsequently published two books about Sikkim. Built by Dr. Alice S. Kandell of New York, the Alice S. Kandell collection is one of the foremost and most comprehensive collections of Tibetan Buddhist art in the West. It comprises hundreds of Buddhist works of art and ritual and cultural objects predominantly from Tibet.