Because Lily’s portraits of Tibetans are so well known, it probably surprises many people to hear that she never visited Tibet. She travelled in the Himalayas at a time when Tibet was closed to outsiders. During her first extended visit to Nepal, in 1959, she was adopted as a daughter by the highest-ranking Tibetan lama there, the Chinya Lama. It was just then that the Dalai Lama fled China’s growing oppression in Tibet and found temporary refuge in northern India. Countless Tibetans followed his example and fled across the border, many ending up in Nepal. Lily spent a long time among the refugees, and took many of them as models. She became deeply engaged with them, developing great interest in and sympathy for their situation. Offering her untiring assistance to these refugees, she became a pillar of support for them right from the start, and remained a loyal friend of the Tibetan people.