My original blog post on Who Is Alice Bailey’s Tibetan shared within it a photo that some believed to be Alice Bailey’s Tibetan and a drawing of that photo from a woman named Annie Gowland. Over the years many people have debated if that photo IS Alice Bailey’s Tibetan and not a “good likeness” of her Tibetan, as Alice Bailey claimed it was. New evidence seems to validate that it is only a likeness and not the Tibetan. The evidence sent to me along these lines came in a series of forwarded Emails that have been re-posted in this blog post. As for the debate about who Alice said her Tibetan was, please visit the original Who Is Alice Bailey’s Tibetan? post.
THE EMAIL INFORMATION SENT TO ME… A dialogue between Gvido Trepsa, Director of the Nicholas Roerich museum and a fellow disciple whose name has not been included in this public post. These emails were published in this blog post by permission.
EMAIL INFORMATION BEGINS HERE.
Subject: FINAL REPORT on The Photo of Three Asian Men — One Suggested to be Master DK
Dear Friends and Co-Workers,
I want to share some information about the picture of the three Asian men, with the man in the middle suggested to be Master Djwhal Khul. [See Attachment 1 – PHOTO OF 3 ASIAN MEN.] The Photo was reported to have been taken by Nicholas Roerich — but this new information shows otherwise.
The clothing of the man in the middle certainly seems to match the clothing of the painting by South African artist Annie Gowland, painted in the 1930s as representative of Master DK. [ See Attachment 2 – PHOTO COMPARISON.] I, like other people, was impressed by the comparison of the clothing of the two men, although I thought the faces were similar, but different. It was an interesting and puzzling photo.
Last Oct. I made arrangements go to New York City for the annual Tibet Fund Dinner which I normally attend. A strong impression kept coming to me in meditation that while I was in New York I should look into this proposed picture of Master DK. The inner prompt was continuing and I follow these impressions. I assumed the photo might be on display or available at the Roerich Museum, and since I knew well the long-time museum director Daniel Entin who passed on, but not the current museum director, I had a mutual friend make an introduction with Museum Director Gvido Trepsa and then I made an appointment with him at the Museum.
Gvido and I had a warm rapport when we met and he invited me into his office for coffee and I inquired about the photo. He said, no, the photo wasn’t on display, but what I told him about it intrigued him and he became very interested.
Gvido said it did not sound like Nicholas Roerich to so publicly display a photo of someone he thought was Master DK. He said Nicholas was very respectful of the Masters and very private. He went to his computer and the Archives. Gvido said he could tell in a special way if a photo was taken by Nicholas Roerich. He found the photo of the three men in question — and said No, Nicholas did not take it.
Gvido also found a newspaper clipping in the Archives where the photo was used and he made me a copy. The article with it was significant news about the Roerichs that was sent all over the US and beyond by an International News Agency.
[See Attachment 3 – Newspaper Clipping and Photo . ~ Scroll on the newspaper clipping to Expand it and Read the writing on it.]
In 1928, Nicholas Roerich and his expedition had escaped from captivity in Tibet after being held by hostile Tibetans for 5 months at 15,000 ft high with just summer tents and limited provisions. — Five guides and 90 camels died as the expedition “withstood the ravages of extreme cold and hunger” and participants were haggard and emaciated. The expedition had not been heard from for 13 months. Then the Roerich Museum received a cable from Nicholas that they had been attacked and forcibly detained in Tibet, but now they were free. This outstanding news was released to the public. To go with the story, pictures were included of people typical of the areas where the Roerichs had traveled – Mongolians, Tibetans and other photos typical of the areas. In this collection of “typical photos” was the photo of the three Asian men, misnamed (it would later be shown) “Lamas of Tibet”.
So Gvido and I wondered, if Nicholas did not take the photo, Who did?
The answer Gvido soon learned from the Detroit Public Library is Aloha Wanderwell (Baker), an amazing young world traveler who visited 80 countries in five years, driving 380,000 miles in a Model T Ford. She took pictures of her travels. She was a filmmaker, photographer, aviator, author, explorer, travel lecturer, editor, screenwriter, radio performer, spoke 11 languages and was a Guinness World Record holder.
https://digitalcollections.detroitpubliclibrary.org/islandora/object/islandora%3A169306 [See the Photo of the 3 Men in Aloha Wanderwell (Baker)’s Collection of Photos in the Detroit Public Library.]
[See Attachment 4 – for more Information on Aloha Wanderwell (Baker) herself.]
CONTENTS OF ATTACHMENT 4 BELOW.
Aloha Wanderwell (Baker) took the photo of the 3 Asian men during her travels of 380,000 miles in 80 countries. The photo was found documented in the Detroit Public Library
https://digitalcollections.detroitpubliclibrary.org/islandora/object/islandora%3A169306 [See Photo]
|Wikipedia — Aloha Wanderwell (Baker) World Automobile Traveler, Filmmaker, Photographer, Aviator, Author, Explorer, Travel lecturer, editor, screenwriter, radio performer, spoke 11 languages|
First Woman to Drive Around the World in an automobile, starting at 16. certified, Guinness World Record. Traveled 380,000 miles across 80 Countries.
https://twitter.com/AlohaWanderwell (A Historical Look Back)
Aloha Wanderwell ( October 13, 1906 – June 4, 1996) was a Canadian-American Internationalist explorer, author, filmmaker, and aviator.
In the 1920s, while still a teenager, she traveled 380,000 miles across 80 countries, becoming the first woman to circumnavigate the globe in a Ford 1918 Model T. Beginning when she was just 16 years old, the journey took five years 1922–1927 to complete.
END OF CONTENTS OF ATTACHMENT 4 ABOVE.
I had wondered why the middle man’s Clothing in the photo seems the same as the artist Annie Gowland’s painting. Gvido explained that artists like Roerich would sometimes take photos of people and their clothing as a model of a region and then put the face or design they wanted with it.
It seems like Annie Gowland may have used this technique, using the photo that was widely distributed internationally as “Lamas from Tibet” with the news story that the Roerich expedition had escaped from Tibet (in 1928) , … to use with her impression of Master DK, the Tibetan, in a painting in 1930s.
Then I wondered Who were these men? In the link to the Detroit Library, there was unusual info written on the photo of the three men. It said: “In Bhutan: (Lamas, Kazi of Yokseem)”
[See No. 5 Attachment — Photo in the Detroit Public Library with info “In Bhutan: (Lamas, Kazi of Yokseem)”]
When I received the link to the photo, I contacted my good friend and Tibetologist Glenn Mullin on Facebook Messenger who responded immediately, and he found helpful answers to my questions as we messaged back and forth — and we were finished in few hours.
It was as if Glenn in Canada was at his computer waiting for my Facebook message from Denver. Then he contacted his friends in Asia who were at their computers, and they responded quickly. This included the head of the National Museum in Bhutan. It was all a very wonderful synchronicity. We learned quite a bit in a short time. Glenn said:
“Kazi is the title of a monk from an aristocratic family. According to one academic paper, there were 12 families allowed to use the title Kazi for a monk of their bloodline. I think only the person in the middle is a monk. The other two are probably aristocrat relatives because of their clothing.”
Glenn said: The director of the National Museum in Bhutan writes, “Yokseem is in Sikkim, there is a huge lake having foot print of Guru Rinpoche on the surface of lake. That is not a Bhutanese monk. Bhutanese do not wear like this ankle length chupa (coat) and hat.”
Glenn concluded: “So it seems that the photo is taken in Sikkim; or if it is taken in Bhutan, it is a photo of a Sikkimese monk and relatives visiting from Sikkim.” Glenn’s help was very appreciated .
With all this information, it seemed clear to me that the photo could Not be of Master DK.
Shortly after this first information was discovered, the Photo Research Project had to be put on a back burner. (NOTE: Private information about this person’s activities that caused delay has been deleted for this public post).
I wish this Report was put together sooner to share, but now I have time and I hope it can be helpful.
ADDITION: In August 2022, I checked with Gvido Trepsa, Roerich Museum director, on some last questions that came up and I added his reply to this Report, further clarifying it.
|Re: Important Follow-Up Questions from Olivia Hansen to Gvido Trepsa — Before I will send out the Report|
Thu, Aug 25, 2022 9:44 pm
Thank you so much for your help. It’s good to have your statement [below] that both the Roerich’s and Aloha Wanderwell’s trips were well-documented — and at no point did their paths cross.
The second point you shared is significant and helpful as a possible logical way of how the photo of the three Asian men was somehow connected with the Roerich expedition. I did not realize that “the New Syndicate, International Information Agency, NY was the name of the Roerich Museum’s press center, which was given the task of running an extensive publicity campaign about the Roerich expedition.
I also didn’t realize: “Another fact is that “New Syndicate” used this caption — “encountered during the way of the Roerich American Expedition in Asia” — with several other photos taken by various other expeditions or persons. The photo in question is just one instance of quite many.
“We also know that the photos taken by the expedition were of bad quality for various reasons, and only some of them could have been accepted by reputable newspapers for publication.
“Therefore, my guess is that the “New Syndicate,” having a very limited number of usable photographs taken by the Roerich expedition, “filled the gaps,” so to say, by using photographs from other sources.”
Your insights, Gvido, are so helpful! I really appreciate your assistance! Thank You very much.
With Warm Regards, Gratitude and Best Wishes, (NOTE: Name and Email address removed).
From: Gvido Trepsa
Sent: Thu, Aug 25, 2022 8:04 am
Subject: Re: An Important Follow-up Question
Answering the questions :
A couple of questions. Did Aloha Wanderwell accompany the Roerichs on part of their expedition? I said No, because Gvido would have mentioned it to me — and her mission was to travel in a Model T, take photos and promote the 380,000 mile tour to 80 countries. Her travels were outstanding but they were not a spiritual journey like or with the Roerich’s. Am I correct on this?
Gvido: Yes, that is correct if we accept historic records. Both trips are well documented, both in terms of dates and places. At no point the paths of Aloha and Roerich crossed.
WHY was that large photo of the three Asian men used in that one newspaper clipping about the fact the Roerichs had escaped from Tibet.
Gvido: “Why” — is something we can only speculate about. What we know as a fact is that “the New Syndicate, International Information Agency” was the name of the Roerich Museum’s press center, which was given the task of running an extensive publicity campaign about the Roerich expedition.
We also know that the photos taken by the expedition were of bad quality for various reasons, and only some of them could have been accepted by reputable newspapers for publication. Another fact is that “New Syndicate” used this caption — “encountered during the way of the Roerich American Expedition in Asia” — with several other photos taken by various other expeditions or persons. The photo in question is just one instance of quite many.
Therefore, my guess is that the “New Syndicate,” having a very limited number of usable photographs taken by the Roerich expedition, “filled the gaps,” so to say, by using photographs from other sources.
I hope this helps. Feel free to ask more questions.
February 13, 2023 at 10:05 am
Unrelated but important. Did Roerich ever do an in depth description of his direct experience with the Mother of the World?
February 21, 2023 at 6:45 am
That is a great question but I have no idea. Maybe contact the Roerich Institute about it?