New Nepal Signboard Art at Nomad in Cambridge
Vintage bathing suits on a bathing beauty!

Live from Kathmandu: The Kaiser Mahal Library

Since first arriving in Kathmandu in 1986, a favorite haunt has been the Kaiser Mahal Library.   A stone's throw from the bustle of Thamel, it has been an oasis of peace and quiet for decades.

Established in 1969, after the 1964 death of Field Marshal Kaiser Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana -- son of the late Prime Minister Chandra Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana.   Kaiser Shumsher must have been a renaissance man.   By all accounts, he loved to read and learn and was fascinated by a great variety of subjects.

Students and tourists alike use the upper hallways for studies and to have a quiet haven to read.

The view from the desks onto the courtyards with the birds chirping is quite a treat.

The hallway's cabinets are filled with non-fiction (organized by the Dewey Decimal System), and topped with vintage photos of life as a Rana in the 20th Century.   Photos of hunts (with the attendant stuffed trophies), private dinners and banquets, fanciful costumes line the walls - all the glamour that went with the Royal family.  Kaiser Shumsher had a voracious mind if the books are any indication.


The upper floors are staffed by the Ministry of Education.   There are over 50,000 books, documents and photos in the Kaiser Library.  

Though the Library's collection stopped with the death of Kaiser Shumsher in 1964, they still offer daily newspapers and periodicals.

I can remember reading a first edition of James Hilton's 'Lost Horizons' with the dust cover extant on a cool day in 1986 while waiting for my husband to return from Tibet.  I sat in a window nook and read it cover to cover over three days.   I've looked - it has since gone missing.   Oh, well....

Florescent lighting is not the best to highlight the wonderful craftsmanship that went into this fabulous home turned library, but it illuminates the detail on every surface.

Kaiser Shumsher first traveled to England in 1908 as a young man and was impressed by the variety and organization of books, thus beginning his lifelong dedication.   I heartily recommend that you visit the library as well as the adjacent 'Garden of Dreams'.   Kaiser Shumsher was also a talented gardener and he would be pleased to see the recent renovation of his landscape project.   But the 'Garden of Dreams' is for another post.

Brady is a handsome liver-colored Pointer and a good example of why I travel to Nepal.   Signboard art is disappearing at a rapid rate and my fair trade art business supports these artists.   I give the same photo to three Nepalese signboard artists and it is fun to see what they come up with.

Brady's portraits are by Nara, Megh Raj and Sagar (clockwise from top left).   Brady's owner has chosen the great portrait by Sagar. 

 This hand-painted art form is fast disappearing in Kathmandu, as it already has in most parts of the world.   I pay fair trade wages, the artists get to paint again, pet lovers get a choice of three paintings for each commission, and I get to help Nepali artists make a living.   Everybody is happy.   Rescue dogs from America get to rescue artists from Nepal!

It wouldn't be a  Danger Dog Blog without a portrait of a Nepali Beware of Dog sign !

If you are lucky enough to be in Los Angeles before the end of December 2011, you can see 60 Nepal Art Dogs at The Loft at Liz's Gallery at 435 S. La Brea LA  90036.   Part of an exhibit titled "Fair Trade", a total of 28 artists are represented in the exhibit so you can get an idea of their varying styles.


Your pet can be immortalized on metal by struggling Nepali signboard artists whose hand-painted work is being replaced by digital graphics.   Find out how below.

Please check out the Nepal Dog YouTube Channel:

You will be happy you did!


Now is the time to order:   Be ahead of the Pack!   Orders now being accepted for October/November 2011 trip.   All signs will be ready with plenty of time to mail for the holidays.



1.   Please send me a medium to high resolution photo of your pet.   I will give it to three different artists, giving you a choice of 3 paintings and three people will get work.   Each painting is about one square foot and is on metal with synthetic enamel paint.   These can be hung indoors or out, be framed or unframed.

2.   Let me know what you would like it to say.

That's it !

Satisfaction is guaranteed as I accept no money up front.   If you do not like one of the three, you pay nothing, and the 3 artists are paid in full in any case.   Let me know what you want it to say and that's it!

Send your photo to or find out more at

Let's keep these artists painting.

American Dogs = Nepali Jobs.

Hello from Dogmandu!





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