News & Upcoming Events

Puja and Piety | Santa Barbara Museum of Art | April 16 - July 31, 2016
Exhibition runs from April 17, 2016 – July 31, 2016 at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art
This exhibition celebrates the complexity of South Asian representation and iconography by examining the relationship between aesthetic expression and the devotional practice, or puja, in the three native religions of the Indian subcontinent. Drawn from SBMA’s collection and augmented by loans, the exhibition presents some 160 objects of diverse medium created over the past two millennia for temples, home worship, festivals, and roadside shrines. From monumental painted temple hangings to meditation diagrams and portable pictures for pilgrims, from stone sculptures to processional bronzes and wooden chariots, from ancient terracottas to various devotional objects for domestic shrines, this exhibition aims to examine and provide contextualized insights for both classical and popular works of art.
This exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue featuring an introduction by the eminent art historian and curator Pratapaditya Pal, and accessible essays on each religious tradition by John E. Cort, Stephen P. Huyler, and Christian Luczanits.  See more here. 

I spent all night of my 20th birthday (in 1971) on the upper floors of the Golden Temple totally spellbound. It was my first day ever in India and it transformed me. I had never seen anything as beautiful as the interior decoration of this magnificent edifice. It became my benchmark for years - I compared everything else I saw to it. As I grew older and wiser and continued to travel widely in India, I realized that true beauty cannot be compared. Each spot shares gifts of its own. But the interior of the Golden Temple in Amritsar remains one of my favorite experiences in India. ... See MoreSee Less

The upper floor in Golden Temple, it was covered in gold by Maharaja Ranjit Singh in the early nineteenth century. It is often quoted that this architecture has created an independent Sikh school of a...

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I’ve known these fabulous 7th century carvings in monolithic granite well for 46 years, but it was not until their stories were lyrically described to me on site by my mentor Sunithi Narayan that they truly came alive for me. Sunithi has been trained as a Bharat Nathyam dancer as a girl and, lwhen describing the carvings while standing in front of them, her gestures and movements combined with superb storytelling skills to bring legend into the present and make the hard stone move with her. ... See MoreSee Less

In one interpretation, a figure in the relief who is standing on one leg, is said to be Arjuna performing an austerity Tapas to receive a boon from Shiva as an aid in fighting the Mahabharata. The sto...

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One of the most remarkable aspects of this fort is that it still contains an active city up there within its ancient walks. When I first visited here 46 years ago, the fort community was almost entirely residential with a few shops catering to local needs and a very few with crafts. Today rapidly growing tourism has transformed many of the ground floor spaces into shops and galleries —and yet this city remains vibrant with local life. Nothing compares to it elsewhere in India. In the video below walk with me down a shop-lined street, through the palace plaza, down through the five old gateways that helped defend the fort and into the city market beneath: ... See MoreSee Less

The city of Jaisalmer lies against the backdrop of Sonar Qila which rises awe-inspiringly from the desert's pale yellow sands. . . . #indiafound #indialostandfound #incredibleindia #architecture #arc...

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I know well the vibrant community in and around the Patwon-ki-Haveli - those few still living in it and those many in the surrounding neighborhood. Like hundreds, and thousands of India’s most beautiful monuments, it is in no way a stagnant memory of some archaic past, but very much an active participant in its present. Its exuberance both in carved decoration and in vital day-to-day life is contagious. ... See MoreSee Less

The facade of Patwon Ki Haveli is entirely made up of detailed jharokas or balconies arranged in courses one above the other. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan. . . . #indiafound #indialostandfound #incredibleind...

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There’s nothing as heavenly as a quiet stroll through Nishat Bagh. As an avid gardener and amateur landscape designer, I love it’s tranquil spaces, it’s special relationships between the private and the more public, the profuse and the pared-down simple. Nishat Bagh defines peaceful elegance. ... See MoreSee Less

Nishat Bagh had demarcated male and female zones, the upper part raised on an arcaded retaining wall functioned as a zenana, which probably served as lookout points for courtly ladies. Srinagar, Jammu...

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