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Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College
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The Goddess Shield: Recent Acquisitions in South Asian Art

February 19 - September 10, 2021
In Southwest Ambulatory

The Goddess Shield: Recent Acquisitions in South Asian Art

February 19 - September 10, 2021
In Southwest Ambulatory

This small installation introduces the Goddess Shield, an important addition to the AMAM Asian art collection. The shield and another recent acquisition, the small painting Raja Prithi Singh Meeting Zabardast Kahn, are shown with related works from the collection that highlight the dynamic synthesis of Indian and Persian culture that arose in South Asia during the Mughal Empire of the 16th to 19th centuries.

This vast and powerful state ruled much of what is today India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. The Mughals, who originated in Central Asia, had close ties with the Safavid rulers of Persia, today’s Iran. Persian art and culture were revered at the Mughal court, and Persian was its official language. Equally influential, however, were the Rajput kingdoms of northern India, with whom the Mughals had close political and cultural ties.

The harmonious blending of Persian and Indian traditions resulted, on a grand scale, in the Taj Mahal, one of the world’s most recognized buildings, and, on a smaller scale, in works like the paintings and decorative arts seen in this show.

Organized by

Kevin R. E. Greenwood

Joan L. Danforth Curator of Asian Art

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