The Goddess in Indian Art
- Dates: February 27, 1980 through June 30, 1980
- Collections: Asian Art
Date unknown, 1980: All ancient cultures used a nude and explicitly maternal female figure- -the Great Goddess- -as their symbol of the feminine force of fertility. The exhibition The Goddess in Indian Art, on view at The Brooklyn Museum February 27 through June 29, reflects that universal vision. The exhibition also illustrates the uniquely varied and dual roles the Indian Goddess plays. She is seen as divine spiritual energy, both benevolent and terrifying, carrying out divine missions.
Assembled from The Brooklyn Museum collection by Amy G. Poster, Associate Curator of Oriental Art, the 46 sculpture and paintings depict the Goddess in the art and mythology of India and neighboring countries. Taken chronologically, the earliest figures represent the universal Mother Goddess, but as early as the Kushan period (1st century A.D.), diverse forms develop and such goddesses as the “Durga Destroying the Buffalo Demon” appear.
The exhibition examines the “Goddess as Divine Mother and Creator,” the "Black Goddess,” and the “Goddess in her Multiple Aspects.” Shown in relation to sculpture and paintings representing other dieties, the images illustrate historical and regional interpretations of these various forms.
A special event, “The Art of India: Gods, Myths, and Rituals,” will take place on Saturday, March 29 from 10 AM to 4 PM. The program will include lectures by Indian specialists Francis G. Hutchins, author; Amy G. Poster; and Barbara Stoler Miller, Professor of Oriental Studies, Barnard College; as well as two films. ($5 for the day/$2.50 students and senior citizens.) This will be followed by a free performance by the classical Indian dancer, Indrani, at 4 PM. A companion exhibition on the same theme will be held at the Low Library, Columbia University, March 3 - 7 in conjunction with a lecture series by Dr. Pratapaditya Pal, Senior Curator of Indian and Islamic Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
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