Show of cultural grandeur set for Nashville

        (AAPNW-TN) – “We are honored to organize and present Vishnu: Hinduism’s Blue-Skinned Savior, the first major exhibition to explore the Vaishnava tradition in art,” said Frist Center Executive Director Susan Edwards. “The material is incredibly deep and rich.  We hope to reach broad audiences, from armchair travelers, to local and regional South Asian communities, to those who simply enjoy cultural exploration.” A free community preview day is on Saturday, February 19 and it becomes a ticketed exhibition Sunday, Feb. 20 and will remain on view in the Ingram Gallery through May 29.

     This major show, “Vishnu: Hinduism’s Blue-Skinned Savior” focuses on the Hindu deity Vishnu and will feature more than 170 paintings, textiles, prints and sculptures created in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh between the Third and Twentieth centuries, is represented by a variety of periods, regions and art styles and reveals the many ways that Vishnu has been portrayed and celebrated.

“Balamara Diverting the Course of the Yamuna River with his Plough”, ca. 1740-1765. opaque watercolor and gold on paper, 5 1/2 x 9 5/16 in. Brooklyn Museum.

     For more than 2,000 years throughout India, devotees known as Vaishnavas, who also can be found all over the world has worshipped the god Vishnu, as well as his avatars have been the inspirations for great works of art and literature, including music, dance and theatrical traditions.

     Curator Dr. Joan Cummins says, “The art of India is relatively little known in the U.S., which is a shame because it’s a tremendously rich tradition that gives form to thousands of years of spiritual inspiration through sophisticated craftsmanship. The diversity of Indian art and imagery is mind-boggling, and we hope to do justice to it with the selection of objects in the show.  But we also hope to alleviate some of the misconceptions and confusion about Hinduism that I think a lot of Americans have.  We hope that people will come away from the show wanting to know more about India and its neighboring countries.  The time is right for this kind of introduction to Indian art, culture and religion.”     

A Hindu home shrine from the Nashville community.

     A companion exhibition, “Hindu Home Shrines: Creating Space for Personal Contemplation” will explore ways several Nashville Hindu families incorporate their faith into their home lives. “This exhibition comes at a particularly interesting time. As the influence of India grows in the global culture, we believe the exhibition will answer many questions often asked about Hinduism,” says Edwards.

     As word of the exhibition has spread, which also makes its way through the AAP Digital Network, the worldwide Indian community has been enthusiastic in its support.  Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, commented that it is “a laudable step for the Frist Center to provide opportunity to the world to further explore Hinduism and its concepts.”

     For more information, call 615.244.3340 or see or directly email Susan Edwards at and ask your questions.

Published by on January 2011. Filed under AAMG Cover Section, Archives, Art-to-Art Marketplace Guide. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed