The New South Asian Gallery at the A.I.C.
Himalayan, and Islamic Art
has finally arrived -
the first major re-installation
as the A.I.C. prepares to open it's
Modern Wing next May.
The above Ghandaran relief
was my favorite piece
from the old gallery of Indian sculpture
But then came the Alsdorf collection.
First it was on temporary exhibit about 10 years ago,
and I remember it well
for it's wide variety of genres.
Now its been combined with selected items
from the previous installation
and the size of the display has doubled.
Which would be a good thing
1. Most of it really belongs in a museum of natural history
2. The lighting is mostly very bad
This Hari Hara came from another Chicago collector,
and I really like it,
although I admit that
I can't remember seeing it in the old display.
The problem, however,
is that this piece,
like many other sculptures in the new gallery
is lit so poorly.
Check out these details
..and then compare them
with this photo that I took a few years ago
when the piece was on temporary display
in a stairwell
with a delicious natural light
from the setting sun.
what a difference the light can make
and the whole piece
seems completely different,
full of drama and color
While here is a piece
from the current exhibit
that is lit quite well,
so maybe the installation
has not really been completed yet.
Here's some pieces
that came from the Alsdorfs
I also like this Marriage of Shiva and Parvati,
from Uttar Pradesh, 10th/11th C.
(also gifted by the Alsdorfs)
and here's a Gupta piece that's new to me,
but was given by the Antiquarian Society.
While here are some things
which I liked
from Alsdorf's show from 1998
that never made it to this display
I could contemplate
this head for years
(can't they sell copies in the museum store ?)
and I can never see enough