Friday, October 14, 2016

Reimaginging the Divine Art of Asia at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

By Jon Hurdle
An image of the god Shiva. Credit Sabina Louise Pierce for The New York Times
PENNSYLVANIA---The Philadelphia Museum of Art’s renowned collection of South Asian art had a problem: Despite a dazzling array of artifacts that thrilled scholars and absorbed curators, it made no sense to the general public. The result is the reimagined, re-lit and in some places rebuilt series of galleries that reopened on Oct. 2 after an 18-month, $2.7 million makeover, the first for 40 years. The approximately 200 objects on display in the new galleries are presented in two major themes: “Art and the Divine” and “Art, Power, Status,” showing how different civilizations have used art to relate to God and to assert wealth and power. [link]

Philadelphia Museum of Art: South Asian Art Galleries (Reopened Oct. 2, 2016); 2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway Philadelphia, PA; 215-763-8100;
A shrine hanging, from the 18th century. Credit Sabina Louise Pierce for The New York Times