40 Striking Indian Sculptures at Peabody Essex Museum
Salem, Massachusetts. The Peabody Essex Museum is exhibiting Faces of Devotion, Indian Sculpture from the Figiel Collection at the Traditional Indian Art Gallery. The exhibition which started on April 10, 2010 and continues till April 30, 2012, is displaying a remarkable selection of ritual bronzes spanning the last millennium featuring depictions of deified heroes, pastoral gods and goddesses, and totemic animal spirits. The exhibition offers an opportunity to explore the connections between India's artistic past and present.
These 40 striking sculptural 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. These bronzes were mainly made for Hindu ritual practice in the west and southwest regions of India and are the finest examples of local and vernacular artistry. Devotional bronzes, whether cast as masks, plaques or three-dimensional sculpture, exude personality and serve the dual purpose of being the focal point of a shrine and a mobile spiritual effigy in ceremonies. Faces of Devotion introduces visitors to an array of revered Indian deities, from Hanuman, the monkey god and Panjurli, the wild boar to the warrior-goddess Durga and the all-powerful Shiva.
Widely regarded as the finest collection of its kind, the Dr. Leo S. Figiel Collection of Indian sculpture was donated to the Peabody Essex Museum in 2006, adding to the museum's extensive collection of contemporary and traditional Indian art. The exhibition was organized by guest curator Cathleen Cummings who is the Assistant Professor of Art History at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.