Yoga: The Art of Transformation
October 19, 2013–January 26, 2014
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
Yoga is a global phenomenon practiced by millions of people seeking spiritual insight and better health. Few, however, are aware of yoga's dynamic history. Opening this fall at the Smithsonian's Arthur M. Sackler Gallery is Yoga: The Art of Transformation, the world's first exhibition of yogic art. Temple sculptures, devotional icons, vibrant manuscripts, and court paintings created in India over 2,000 years—as well as early modern photographs, books, and films—reveal yoga's mysteries and illuminate its profound meanings.
The exhibition borrows from twenty-five museums and private collections in India, Europe, and the United States. Highlights include an installation that reunites for the first time three monumental stone yogini goddesses from a tenth-century Chola temple; ten folios from the first illustrated compilation of asanas (yogic postures), made for a Mughal emperor in 1602, which have never before been exhibited together; and Thomas Edison's Hindoo Fakir (1906), the first movie ever produced about India.
Through masterpieces of Indian sculpture and painting, Yoga: The Art of Transformation explores yoga's rich diversity and historical transformations, including its philosophies, transformational goals, and importance within multiple religions. The exhibition also examines the varied roles that yogis and yoginis played in society, from sages to spies.
Yoga: The Art of Transformation is organized by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution. Generous support for the exhibition is provided by the Friends of Freer|Sackler, Whole Foods Market, Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, The Alec Baldwin Foundation, Chandrika and Ranjan Tandon, The Ebrahimi Family Foundation, Nancy and Hart Fessenden, May Liang and James Lintott, Susan and Michael Pillsbury, Mrs. Arthur M. Sackler, Catherine Glynn Benkaim and Barbara Timmer, IndiaTourism, the Together We're One crowdfunding campaign, and media sponsor Yoga Journal.
Upcoming Related Events
Yoga: The Art of Transformation Catalogue
Related Exhibition: Strange & Wondrous
Related Exhibition: Rina Banerjee
Related Collection: South Asian & Himalayan Art
Watch the Video
Closing Weekend Events
Symposium: Modern and Medical Yoga
Art in Context: Yoga in the Galleries
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