Florida Museum displays Hindu gods’ statues

The newly opened Asian Art Wing of Harn Museum of Art of University of Florida in Gainesville (USA) carries sculptures of Hindu deities of Shiva, Durga and Vishnu, as old as 3rd century CE.

Besides these sandstone sculptures showing Shiva with Uma, Durga slaying Buffalo Demon, and Vishnu Vaikuntha; it also has Rajasthani paintings of Radha and Krishna.

This 26,000 square foot Asian Art Wing, which opened on March 31, features various works from India among its nearly 2000 exhibits and its garden features areas for meditation. Among the highlights of the Wing are late-first to early-fourth century stone sculptures from India depicting Buddhist and Hindu figures and works of celebrated Indian artist Jamini Roy.

Applauding Harn Museum for exhibiting Hinduism focused artifacts, 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.

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.

Launched in 1990, this leading university art museum for the exhibition and study of Asian art has about 8,300 works in its collections, some dating back to 2500 BCE; and it also organizes traveling exhibitions. It carries Indian miniature paintings also besides Hindu sculptures and modern Indian paintings of Sunil Madhav Sen, Gopal Ghosh, Krishna Shamrao Kulkarni and Ram Kumar. J. Bernard Machen is University of Florida President, Rebecca Martin Nagy is Harn Museum Director and Jason Steuber is Curator of Asian Art. It claims to be “a creative laboratory for innovation in the visual arts” with its mission as promoting “the power of the arts”.

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