Hindu Deities in Art at the University of Missouri

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University of Missouri Museum of Art and Archaeology (UMMAA) is exhibiting Hindu gods and goddesses in its “Seeing the Divine in Hindu Art” exhibition from September 22 to December 16.

Hindu Deities in Art at the University of Missouri
The Goddess Durga as Slayer of the Buffalo-Demon Mahisha (Mahishasuramardini), 14th–15th century, Nepal [Credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art]

This exhibition reportedly examines many Hindu deities with artifacts as old as from eighth century in a variety of media, including Vishnu and his ten avatars, Shiva, Ganesha, Lakshmi, Enthroned Vishnu,  Parvati, Durga astride a lion, Kali, Sarasvati, Surya, Dharmaraj, snake goddess Manasha, Shitala, Krishna playing a flute, Shiva Bhairava, etc. Works include metal, wood, stone, ceramic, leather, paper mache and ivory; as well as paintings on paper, cloth, and glass. Most of the exhibits originated in India but some are from other countries of South or Southeast Asia.

Applauding UMMAA for organizing Hinduism focused exhibition, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that art had a long and rich tradition in Hinduism and ancient Sanskrit literature talked about religious paintings of deities on wood or cloth.

Hindu Deities in Art by the University of Missouri

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged major art museums of the world, including Musee du Louvre and Musee d`Orsay of Paris, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, Los Angeles Getty Center, Uffizi Gallery of Florence (Italy), Art Institute of Chicago, Tate Modern of London, Prado Museum of Madrid, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, etc., to frequently organize Hindu art focused exhibitions, thus sharing the rich Hindu art heritage with the rest of the world.

“Four tie-in films, a program on yoga, and a lecture on `Darshan: Hindu Art and the Religious Gaze` will also be presented as an orientation to the exhibition. Exhibition offers varied visual landscape of Hindu divinity,” a Museum announcement adds.

This Museum in Columbia (Missouri, USA), launched in 1957, claims to have over 14,000 pieces of art and artifacts in its holdings spanning seven millennia and six continents. Its permanent collections include various stone and bronze statues of Hindu deities Vishnu, Shiva, Parvati, Durga, Ganesha, Lakshmi and Rama. Alex Barker is the Director and Jeffrey Wilcox is Registrar.

Source: SOP Newswire [September 30, 2012]

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