Hindus laud Peabody Essex Museum for organizing Hindu gods exhibition

Last Updated: Sun, Feb 13, 2011 10:50 hrs

Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) in Salem (Massachusetts, USA) is currently organizing "Faces of Devotion" exhibition showing "nearly 40 dramatic sculptures of Hindu gods, goddesses, animal spirits and deified heroes" till January 16.

Applauding PEM for focusing an exhibition on Hindu gods, goddesses, and objects, notable 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. Zed commended PEM for giving an opportunity to the world to further explore Hinduism, its objects and its concepts.

"Faces of Devotion" provides a selection of Indian ritual bronze and metal sculptures as depicted in the folk traditions of western and southern India. These works, dating from the 1500s to the 1800s, are exquisite examples of vernacular folk art and offer unique insight into the region's compelling iconography, craftsmanship, and ritual. Organized by guest curator Cathleen Cummings, Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, a scholar with firsthand knowledge of deity worship in India. To convey the ceremonial aspects of these sculptures, PEM has installed them in a manner that evokes the devotional context in which they were originally used. Various Hindu deities; including Shiva, Durga, Hanuman, Nandi; are represented.

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.

Nation's oldest continuously operating museum, founded in 1799 by America's first global entrepreneurs, PEM is a "museum of international art and culture dedicated to connecting art to the world in which it is made". Dan Monroe is CEO; Samuel T. Byrne and Sean M. Healey are Trustees Co-chairs; while Susan Bean is Curator of South Asian Art. (ANI)