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Charleston Collects: South Asian Art

October 26, 2018 - February 17, 2019

Galleries 2 & 3

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Debuting the Charleston Collects series, this exhibition features selections from a major private collection of South Asian art in Charleston.

India, the birthplace of three major world religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, and a country where Judaism, Christianity, and Islam have deep roots, has traditions of sculpture, painting, and architecture that stretch back thousands of years.

This rich and varied visual culture is reflected in the naturalism of Western influenced Buddhist sculpture from ancient Gandhara, and in the bold Matisse-like stylization of Indian painting in the 16th and 17th centuries illustrating Hindu subjects. From examples of early medieval Buddhist bronze to paintings by artists from the courts of the Muslim Mughal emperors, this collection represents the region’s diverse sources and traditions.

Guest curated by Daniel Ehnbom, Ph.D., professor of South Asian Art at University of Virginia

<i>A vidyadhara (wisdom holder) or flying spirit</i>; ca. 6th century; Fragment of a larger sandstone sculpture; India, Uttar Pradesh; Courtesy of a private collection

A vidyadhara (wisdom holder) or flying spirit; ca. 6th century; Fragment of a larger sandstone sculpture; India, Uttar Pradesh; Courtesy of a private collection

<i>Hunters in a Landscape (probably the lovers Baz Bahadur and Rupmati)</i>, ca. 1725, Attributed to Dalchand; Opaque color and gold on paper; India, Rajasthan, Jodhpur in the former state of Marwar; Courtesy of a private collection

Hunters in a Landscape (probably the lovers Baz Bahadur and Rupmati), ca. 1725, Attributed to Dalchand; Opaque color and gold on paper; India, Rajasthan, Jodhpur in the former state of Marwar; Courtesy of a private collection

<i>Atlante</i>, c. 1st-3rd cent; Schist; Ancient Gandhara (now NW Pakistan); Courtesy of a private collection

Atlante, c. 1st-3rd cent; Schist; Ancient Gandhara (now NW Pakistan); Courtesy of a private collection

<i>Desavaradi ragini (a personification of a musical mode)</i>, from a <i>Ragamala</i> (

Desavaradi ragini (a personification of a musical mode), from a Ragamala ("garland of melody"), 1605, Ascribed to the painter Nisardi (Nasir al-Din, Nasiruddin); Opaque color on paper. India, Rajasthan, from Chavand in the former state of Mewar; Courtesy of a private collection