U.S. Ambassador Peter W. Bodde opened the book launch for “Himalayan Style”, by American authors Claire Burkert and Thomas Kelly at the Taragaon Museum in Boudha on Sunday February 22. In their book, longtime friends of Nepal Claire Burkert and Thomas Kelly collaborated to capture the unique spaces and architecture of the Himalayas. At the event, Ambassador Peter W. Bodde said, “This book captures the elements of Nepal I admire most – the places, the artisan work, and most importantly, the people who have worked hard to keep or perpetuate the beauty we enjoy. If you have lived here as long as I have, you are happy to have a book that documents both the ingenuity and the superb cultural heritage that we admire here in Nepal.”
According to a press release issued by American Embassy, Claire Burkert began researching Maithili wall painting and relief decoration in villages around Janakpur in 1988. She developed a project to help Maithil women gain recognition, empowerment and income from their unique artistic heritage. Claire founded the Janakpur Women’s Development Center, which is housed in a beautiful Maithili-style complex that the women decorate each year with extraordinary mud-relief designs. Thomas Kelly, who first came to Nepal as a Peace Corps Volunteer in 1978, visually documents communities in the valley and the high Himalayas. He has produced books and films that revealed his understanding and admiration for local culture and the rich environment of the region.