Nicholas Vreeland is a Tibetan Buddhist monk who was educated in Europe, North Africa and the United States. He later pursued a career in photography and in the late ’60s and early ’70s worked as an assistant to Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. Vreeland was introduced to his teacher, Khyongla Rato Rinpoche and The Tibet Center in New York by John and Elizabeth Avedon. After many years of study, he went to India to become a monk in 1985 and was awarded a Geshe Degree (Doctorate of Divinity) in 1998. The first solo exhibition of Vreeland’s work, “Return to the Roof of the World,” was held at the Leica Gallery in New York from April 22nd to June 4th of 2011. Just this July, Vreeland was appointed the abbot of Rato Dratsang by the Dalai Lama. He’s the first Westerner appointed abbot of a Tibetan Buddhist monastery with the task to help bridge East and West. Vreeland, who we interviewed last year, often sends email updates with photos that capture what is before him. We’re converting them into blog posts so our readers can join him along his journey. Here is the first in this series.


Subject: Tuscany…
From: Nicholas Vreeland
Date: Mon, June 25, 2012 1:57 pm

Scenery from a walk


Khyongla Rato Rinpoche sitting


 Rolling hills in the countryside


-Leica Internet Team

To see more of Nicholas Vreeland’s work, please visit