This iconic photograph of H.H. 16th Gyalwa Karmapa performing the famous Black Crown ceremony was taken by Peter Mannox on Tibetan New Year 1978 at Rumtek, Sikkim, India.
Tashi’s father, Peter Mannox, worked as chief photographer for the then Karma Kagyu Trust from the early 70’s into the 90’s
The highlights of Peter’s career were the two occasions, in 1978 and 1980, where he was sent to Rumtek monastery in the Himalayan Kingdom of Sikkim. Commissioned to formally photograph H.H. 16th Karmapa and His spiritual sons, as well as other eminent Kagyu Lamas. Peter also documented the treasury of relics and thangka paintings, such as of the 900 year old Kagyu Lineage.
During this time Peter shot a large archive in both colour and black & white, the majority of which were taken on a 1951 MPP 4”x 5”plate camera, which, being such large format, provided superb high quality prints of excellent focus and detail.
A number of these photographs, especially of the 16th Karmapa, are well known within Tibetan Buddhist circles, especially one known as the miracle photograph, where the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa appeared to disappear translucent on his throne.
Unfortunately, during the onset of the digital age, all the colour negatives of this astonishing archive were lost, presumed destroyed, when the Birmingham Post & Mail photographic laboratories closed down. They originally kept these negatives safe for print orders.
Fortunately the black & white negatives survived in Peters care, which he has since entrusted to Tashi, who took on the enormous task to scan each of the negatives at super high resolution – then to spot out all the dust motes and blemishes. The result is breathtaking in the depth of tonal quality and detail.
To be able to share such majesty and magic of the H.H.16th Karmapa with his spiritual heart sons and Lamas – it is planned for Peter Mannox’s photographic legacy to be published into a book. An ongoing project, progress of which will be updated here.