Watercolors, drawings, and sculpture spanning 400 years of Indian history are on view in Miniature Worlds: Art from India, on exhibit now through Oct. 20 in the Perspective Gallery at Squires Student Center on the Virginia Tech campus.
Drawn from the extensive permanent collection of The Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, Mass., the exhibition illuminates various forms of Indic media from the 15th to the 19th centuries as well as aspects of its religion and history.
Two major Indian painting traditions, Rajput and Mughal, are represented in the watercolors on display. Rajput paintings focus on religious themes and are painted in a native style with bold, flat colors. These earliest Indian paintings illustrate sacred Jain and Hindu texts. The establishment of the Mughal dynasty in 1526 ushered in new themes, particularly history painting and portraiture. Mughal paintings were composed by artists affiliated with the court and reflect a style based on the Persian miniature painting tradition.
The exhibition also includes three-dimensional works, such as Dancing Ganesha, a sculpture executed in the first half of the 20th century. Other exciting works in Miniature Worlds portray heroic battles and hunting scenes. The exhibit is composed of 65 works: 45 opaque watercolors and sketches on paper, and 20 sculptures in bronze, wood, brass, copper, and jade.
“The intimate scale and technical mastery of the works in this exhibition draws in viewers from a wide range of perspectives to appreciate this vivid portrayal of Indian culture and history,” says Mary Tartaro, art programs coordinator for the Perspective Gallery.
The Perspective Gallery, on the second floor of Squires Student Center on the Virginia Tech campus, is free and open to the public Tuesday through Friday, noon to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. For more information on the Perspective Gallery, call 540-231-4053.
Miniature Worlds: Art from India is sponsored by Virginia Tech’s University Unions and Student Activities (UUSA). UUSA, a unit within the Division of Student Affairs at Virginia Tech, complements the academic program by providing a variety of activities, educational opportunities, programs, facilities, and services that enhance student development and enrich the quality of campus life at Virginia Tech. For information on UUSA activities, visit their website or contact Sandy Broughton.
All of the works in Miniature Worlds are from the Leland C. and Paula Wyman Collection at The Art Complex Museum, an extraordinary collection of 300 paintings purchased in the late 1960s. The exhibition is curated by Alice R. M. Hyland of Trinity College, in collaboration with Catherine Mayes, senior curator at The Art Complex Museum.
The exhibition is a program of ExhibitsUSA, a national program of Mid-America Arts Alliance and The National Endowment for the Arts.