Exhibition | Ganesha: Lord of New Beginnings

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on January 2, 2023

Ivory sculpture of Ganesha seated.

Seated Ganesha, detail, 16th century, India (Odisha), ivory, 7 inches (18.4 cm) high
(New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 64.102)

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Now on view at The Met:

Ganesha: Lord of New Beginnings
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 19 November 2022 — 25 February 2024

Painting of Ganesha seated.

Seated Four-Armed Ganesha, ca. 1775, India (Rajasthan, Bundi), ink and opaque watercolor on paper, 15 × 11 cm (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1977.440.15).

Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, is a Brahmanical (Hindu) deity known to clear a path to the gods and remove obstacles in everyday life. He is loved by his devotees (bhakti) for his many traits, including his insatiable appetite for sweet cakes and his role as a dispenser of magic, surprise, and laughter. However, Ganesha is also the lord of ganas (nature deities) and can take on a fearsome aspect in this guise.

The seventh- to twenty-first-century works in this exhibition trace his depiction across the Indian subcontinent, the Himalayas, and Southeast Asia. Featuring 24 works in a variety of media—sculptures, paintings, musical instruments, ritual implements, and photographs— the exhibition emphasizes the vitality and exuberance of Ganesha as the bringer of new beginnings.

The exhibition is made possible by the Florence and Herbert Irving Fund for Asian Art Exhibitions.

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