The Art of Knowing in South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas

Five multi-armed goddesses sitting cross-legged in a mountainous painted landscape.
  • Dates

    March 25, 2023–ongoing

  • Location

    Arthur M. Sackler Gallery | Gallery 22

  • Collection Area

    South Asian & Himalayan Art, Southeast Asian Art

The Art of Knowing brings together highlights from our collections to explore religious and practical knowledge across time, space, and cultures. Featuring stone sculptures, gilt bronzes, and painted manuscripts from India, Nepal, Tibet, Bangladesh, Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, and Indonesia, this exhibition illuminates the critical role of visual culture in conveying Buddhist and Hindu teachings from the ninth to the twentieth centuries.

From Ganesha, the god of beginnings, to goddesses who personify wisdom, the artworks on view tell individual stories and reveal ways of knowing our world. The Art of Knowing asks how artists and objects shape wisdom traditions. How do shared images and designs reveal the movement of people and ideas across geographical regions? What do goddesses teach? And how does attaining knowledge end suffering?

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